Dear Christ Church,
We’ve been through a lot these past few months. You’ve worked with me to make our chancel beautiful and hoped with me that everyone will be delighted; you’ve advised me on how to finance the repairs of our historic landmark building, and you’ve put in endless hours on finance, property, grant writing, & models for a capital campaign. You’ve worked with me to find a new youth leader and Sunday School teacher, so we will welcome Emily Brennan! You’ve worked with me to find an office assistant to help Marianne, so we will welcome Kate Corbett!
You have shared your deeper concerns, and your deeper hopes, with me. You have wanted to be sure I know that we are, to a large extent, an aging congregation. On more than one occasion, you have expressed your hope that Christ Church will find ways to take care of its own, especially our aging and infirm. You have expressed a desire to pull everyone in to talk about how we can be even more active in driving, accompanying, including, and cooking for those of us who are not fully independent.
You have expressed concern for those of us who are without families.
You and I have prayed for your adult children with cancer. You and I have prayed about your own illnesses and the treatments you are seeking. (I am troubled by the complexities you face as you navigate hospice and home health aide systems. I carry your anxieties with you and offer them to God daily, as well as your gratitude for your families and friends.)
You have welcomed me at the side of your hospital beds; you have welcomed me at the side of your hospice beds; you have shared your prayer requests with me and one another.
You have welcomed one to the same places - into the places where you are vulnerable and need comfort.
You have come together to memorialize and bury – and have offered to do so again – those who would otherwise not have had a proper service or burial.
You and I celebrated your wedding vows and blessed your rings!
You and I are excited about a youth retreat to the Abby of the Genesee on the week-end of January 13th!
You and I are talking about racism at our vestry meetings, and wondering how we can expand the conversation.
You and I are considering what a new Saturday week-night service might look like (Taize? Evening prayer? Said Compline?)
You and I are working on formalizing our partnerships with Eastman, The Father’s House, and Meal and More so that we are all working together more effectively. You and I continue to marvel at the different missions and ministries that happen on our grounds and in our building!
Together, we are learning how to be a community hub. Together, we are living out our call to be a mission hub to the glory of God. Together, we are reaching out to others who will support us and do God’s work with us.
You have told me that, even in this time of change, you feel the brightness God’s future for us. I do, too.
The gold shining from the chancel ceiling and from the quatrefoils set against the dark– these remind me of a new star from heaven. Guiding us.