Today’s gospel reading recalls the storm at sea in which the apostles woke a sleeping Jesus, calling to his attention the fact that they were all going to drown. Jesus, commenting on their lack of faith, calmed the storm and everyone got off the boat safely. No doubt, the early years following July 4, 1776 felt like the storm at sea with Jesus sleeping in the boat. The boat of American Independence landed safely, after a few years struggle, when America began its history as an independent nation. In both cases, the apostles in the boat and the signers of the Declaration of Independence, saw themselves in the midst of a storm tossed sea. For the founding fathers, the only means for survival was a unified effort towards clear goals. Clarifying these goals was no small struggle and the vision of what was to be America was a highly debated point. However, a common vision did prevail and along with this common vision came a deep conversation concerning the necessary means to attain a working Republic. So too with the early Church. There was no lack of division and questioning concerning all sorts of issues. A quick read of the Acts of the Apostles reveals this point. In both cases, the forming of a new nation and the forming of Christ’s Church were occasions when division and lack of common identity became a time analogous to a rough sea. The creation of a community and the best means to attain that community takes a skilled person at the helm and I am thankful that for our church that person is ultimately Christ.