Greetings, Beloved Community.
There are afternoons, like this one, when Ann has gone home and locked me in (to keep me safe or to keep me from getting out – you guess), that I sit at my desk looking out the windows of the corner office and am amazed at the beauty of this place and its surroundings.
This afternoon, as the sun moves over the east side of the church and is lighting up the trees which are turning color, I feel truly blessed that God has called me to St. Gabriel. There are mornings I wake up and think to myself – “This is really what I get to do with my life!” I think I may be waxing poetic because the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood is about a month away. I will begin my third year as a priest on December 12th. If any of you remember, I was ordained on a Saturday and on Sunday I was the de facto priest-in-charge and Christmas was just around the corner. Dcn. Greg Rainey and I had the great idea to move our all-Zoom services from our homes into the church- which actually did turn out to be a great idea. What I remember is how this community worked to support me in my new ministry and came together to create a new way to worship. It was pretty wonderful.
It is not only the anniversary of my ordination that has got me ruminating and reflecting. We are about to begin a new liturgical year on November 27th. With the first Sunday of Advent we begin Year A 2022 – 2023 which coincides more or less with the end of my first six months as the official priest-in-charge. The year to come will be the first full liturgical year that I will be sitting in the corner office. All of this has got me thinking about what the new year will bring.
We are officially back in business so to speak. Actually, what we’ve done is to begin a new way of being St. Gabriel. Part of that is the result of the times we live in, part is the result of new people having joined our family, and part – perhaps the largest part – is the Holy Spirit powerfully pulling us forward. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for folks to step into the role of ministry leaders as well as ministry members. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for adult education and adult spiritual formation. The coming year is going to offer new opportunities for ways to experience worship. And that’s just the stuff we already have planned!
So, as the sun drops further in the afternoon sky, I will end this by inviting you to get ready for the church’s new year. We are going to be celebrating a traditional Advent this year by offering special Taizé Evensong services each of the four Sundays of Advent starting at 5:30 pm. These will be services of light, meditative music, prayer, and preparation for the coming of the Messiah. I hope you will join me and the worship ministry team.
In the peace and love of Christ,