you know that you yourselves are God’s
and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)
I was lucky to have been born an Episcopalian.
My uncle and cousin were priests. Another cousin married a priest after her brother introduced her to his friend from the seminary. Throughout my early days, I attended St John’s Episcopal Church in Sharon, Massachusetts, and I enjoyed it. I served as both an acolyte and a server. When I was young, church occupied a large part of my life.
As an adult, however, I allowed my work to push my church involvement aside.
After working in Boston for ten years and starting a family, I moved to Rochester, NY, to go with Gannett, a newspaper company, just about when the company and corporate office were starting to buy and sell newspapers and TV stations. My wife, Carol, and I had two children, who grew up in Rochester, amid many friends and snow. My career at Gannett worked out very well, thirty-two years and a retirement on Cape Cod and here in Naples. Can’t do much better than that.
However, when I was forty-five, I collapsed on a golf course on Cape Cod with a cardiac arrest. My golf partner was a volunteer fireman and started CPR. My son and his friend ran for a phone to call 911. (No cell phones in those days.) A cardiac care nurse from Syracuse, NY (Carol’s home town) came from another hole and helped with the CPR, and the firemen used an AED to start my heart going again.
You could say, “I got lucky,” for obviously, I survived. Over the following years I’ve had stents and a heart by-pass as medical science advanced.
Even after that I never thought of going to church.
After my retirement, friends Mike and Jean Morley introduced Carol and me to St. John’s in 2006 or so, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed and felt comfortable in the Episcopal church, and here at St John’s, I was at home again.
When Fr. Joe arrived, he introduced me (and probably many of you) to the good works of the Holy Spirit. So perhaps we are “lucky.”
The definition of lucky is “fortunate, favored and blessed.”
I now realize, with the weekly help of Fr. Joe, that the Holy Spirit has looked out for me many times, and I thought I was just “lucky!”
Well, maybe, I am. Richard Clapp