From the Rector: October 2022
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’ Matthew 18:20
Dear Parish Family,
This past Wednesday evening we embarked on a five week program endeavor, with the hopes of welcoming and gathering parishioners of all ages. At the front of the evening was childrens’ choir practice (look for their Sunday anthem in early November). The latter part of the evening was both adult choir practice and my offering of a group book study. The wonderful heart of this evening was a shared meal in the Great Hall. The food was delicious, the room was full and the conversation was terrific. On Sunday, we saw the amazing return of the tradition of breakfast in the Great Hall. Again, there was a tremendous and enthusiastic turnout. Both events were a beautiful reminder of how much we gain as a community when we are simply together to share a meal.
Back to the Wednesday book study - Brian Stevenson is a public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. His book Just Mercy is a compelling account of his perspectives. Early in his book, Stevenson fondly recalls his relationship with his grandmother, who always pulled him in for long hugs and reminded him to “stay close.” That experience informed the compassion he brought to his personal and professional life, and led him in his narrative to emphasize the critical value of “proximity.” He argues that there is no way for any of us to fully understand the value and dignity of other human beings without a willingness to come close and be in their presence.
Among the many learnings from our COVID experience, we now see more fully and can be grateful for the gift of “proximity” in our parish life together. I don’t for a minute take that for granted when we gather for worship on a Sunday morning, and importantly have Eucharist together. After all, in doing so we are recalling and modeling a particular moment in time, when Jesus gathered his closest of friends, and shared a meal with them.