It’s apple season! Those close to me know that I love apples. (Those even closer to me know I develop “an apple problem” each autumn). What’s not to love about apples? There’s so many reasons, but I want to settle on one: the variety. All apples are not alike. There’s the big 20-ounce apples, great for baking and making applesauce. There’s the Honeycrisp: tangy, sweet, and with each bites comes a great crunch. Finally, (I can’t believe I’m only naming three types) there’s the Fortune: sweet, with a flavor of spice right in the fruit. Yum!
The parishes, campus ministries, religious communities and chaplaincies of the Diocese of Rochester are like apples. We have an amazing variety to encounter. We have the Abbey of the Genesee, where the sounds of sung prayer and the smells of fresh bread fill the air. We have our campus ministries, where eager minds encounter strong commitments to social justice and our intellectual tradition. We have our communities of women religious, whose steadfast ministry has planted the seeds of faith for decades in our communities, and we have more than 80 parishes, each with their own sweetness — and tanginess — in rural, suburban and urban settings. Look at the fruit God has provided us!
Each one of these places of worship, like apples, have seeds at their core: the Eucharist. Each may have different “flavor” or “texture,” but all have that core — the real presence of Christ. Seeds are something that unites all apple varieties. The Eucharist is what unites all worshipping communities.
This autumn, get out and visit a nearby parish, campus or community and experience the “orchard of faith” we have — right in our own backyard.
Deacon Schott is the assistant director of campus ministry at St. John Fisher College. He was ordained a deacon in May 2019.