Everyone is likely familiar, from the movies and shows we grew up with or from the books we’ve read, with the image of an oasis in the desert, that lush refuge of palm trees and clear springs, providing needed shade and respite, quenching deep thirsts for the weary desert wanderer.
That word – oasis – came to mind as I was thinking about what I’ve already come to love about our parish; it’s an oasis.
You who have been here from the start can attest to the explosive expansion and increasing density the best! Dunwoody has become like a sort of “suburban desert”. Businesses and shops and restaurants and neighborhoods and entertainment, all with their accompanying parking lots – and traffic – are proliferating and covering the landscape like a vast, windblown desert. Don’t get me wrong, there’s beauty in the desert, there is life in the desert, but it’s also a place of real struggle.
But hidden away off a main road–indeed, the main road–is our little sanctuary, our oasis, hidden amidst the pines. From Mt. Vernon Road, if you didn’t already know about our parish, you’d have no idea, and likely wouldn’t believe, that there is a church, a social hall, admin offices and classrooms, two rectories, a scout hut, a Knights Hall, a full-size gym, a Preschool, a playground, a refuge for saints and sinners, for athletes and couch potatoes, for the youngest and the oldest. For anyone who turns in though, they I pray they find the true Oasis…the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Sacred Body. Yes, the place is special, but the true Refuge is the Lord Himself, in the communion and fellowship of His baptized disciples and most especially in the Most Holy Eucharist.
He is our Refuge, He is our Living Water, He is the Oasis.
I want to introduce a new initiative here at All Saints: an opportunity to encounter the Lord as the Oasis our hearts long for. We’re going to do what all the Saints in Heaven are doing: worshiping the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. It will be a monthly parish-wide Eucharistic Holy Hour, meaning anyone and everyone is welcome to gather in the church where we will spend an hour with Him, singing, lifting up our hearts, resting in Him. We’re going to start it simply and organically, and see where the Lord takes it. Can you guess what we’re going to call these parish holy hours???? I’m thinking OASIS.
He says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28). And at the same time He thirsts for the response of our faith
(see John 19:28). The first one will be Tuesday, September 19th at 7PM in the church. I sincerely hope to see you there!
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
All you holy saints of God, pray for us!