Salt and Light: Grace
“BANG!” The wrought iron gate slams closed in a dark, silent church.
“It is finished,” bleats the cold, incense stained walls. A sweeping of vestments whispers off the altar. I am left in holy darkness.
During Lent, I especially prepare to be led to the foot of the cross—to Good Friday—where the joy of our belief meets the grief of our humanity. Where God’s grace and our delicate creation intertwine absolutely–leaving us bereft until the tomb is found empty.
To me, Good Friday is the cracking open of a divine egg, drawing out the sweet sustenance from the hard, protective shell of creation. Good Friday lets us see God’s grace unabridged and whole for the first time, shredding that cloudy veil of humanity to reveal a divine gift–grace.
My name is Chris Tumilty. I am the new Director of Communications in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. I am a storyteller and a communicator. I hold a degree in Journalism from Point Loma Nazarene University and a degree in Strategic Communications from National University. I’m a P.K. (priest’s kid), a brother, an uncle, and a godfather. I’m a proud Episcopalian, and I believe the Episcopal Church has yet to see its best days.
Like Good Friday, the Episcopal Church has a truth, a grace to share—locked up in a tough shell that we’ve created. We know, as Episcopalians, that the hard work of sharing our faith is often left to the clergy, vestry, or other leadership. “Glad that’s not my job…” found in on page xyz of the Book of Common Prayer.
But it is your job, our job—THE JOB! Sharing the love and grace of Jesus is the resurrected church. And we are a resurrection people!
So how do we share the love and grace of Jesus today? Social media seems juvenile, and who knows how to build a website nowadays? What is the secret sauce? Does personal invitation still work? What is it that really attracts people to church?
You, the wonderful, beautiful creation of God, are a gift of grace to this world—as you share your joy and your pain, your struggles and your accomplishments—as you share your life—the world changes. It is in sharing ourselves that we share the grace and love of God.
I look forward to hearing your stories and helping you share them with the world—online, on video, in print, and in person.
And in sharing, I would like to close by sharing a poem, “Graciousness-ly,” that I wrote while living in San Diego and attending Point Loma Nazarene University. I hope that it provides you with places to meditate on your grace-filled wrappings.
Quality quantifies the cute, creative necessities in life
While holding on, firmly, to the harsher realities involved in grace.
Grace gives a non-gender-specific guidepost to the revolutions of life
Grace gives a grade-scale that trumps the godless empire of our daily tasks.
And yet, grace is the crazy, revolutionary child of a naturally predominant divinity
Granting gracious necessity to a life spoiled with pitfalls, trials, and tumbles.
Antisocial, in many respects, is grace, but its overarching character is counterculture.
Counter to the cultural nonsense that life shows as a picturesque soap opera of formation.
The commodity of precious grace empties a frowning reservoir that dams life out of love
So, we save grace, from the outward expression of revolutionary agenda.
Grace is reserved to an inward extension that we fortify within walls of skin and flesh
Refusing to extend a spiritual appendage that is complementary to our glorious creation.
Why such a refined quality is kept behind high walls…
Why a glory that fills rooms, theaters, planets, and lives can be contained…
And why grace can still stand unabridged.
Because grace is you
Because grace is freely given.
Director of Communications, EDSD