Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I thank God, the God of my fore fathers … whenever I remember you in prayer…I find myself thinking of your sincere faith…
2 Timothy 1
Dear Friends in Christ,
As we look forward to Fall, my first impressions are of great gratitude – to God for bringing me and my family to St. John’s and to you for a welcome that has persisted through the seasons.
Thanks for the constant support of our wise and dedicated Vestry. Their good will and wise guidance are mainstays of our rich parish life, Dan Barbiero, Trudy Calabrese, Kathi Fusco, Bobbe Hewitt, Fred LaMarca, Olive Mainehardt, Bob Nostrand, of the Buildings and Grounds Committee have done a particularly outstanding job of restoring the rectory as a valuable asset for the parish. I know how much time and good counsel went into their tremendous effort. Special thanks to Our Cemetery Staff, Claude Cuvier of Vanguard Inspections, Tim Lee the staff of Lee Construction as well as, Jordy Howard and the staff of Harbor Home Improvement, for your many skills, hard work and attention to detail. Jane and I look forward to once again opening the rectory as a venue for parish fellowship and hospitality.
The new St. John’s Parish Profile is a terrific reference tool with so many practical applications. An online edition will be forming the basis of our newly designed parish website http://stjohnschurchcsh.com. This has been a great team effort with exceptional contributions from Dale Mann, Dan Barbiero and Terry Walton. Thanks for a superb job in creating this essential communications tool.
This summer I was grateful to be given a refreshing insight into the restorative powers of our faith. I visited an old friend who was recovering from a devastating fall. A vigorous woman who bounded with energy was reduced to slow, labored, painful efforts for her every move. To all outward appearances she was a perfect candidate for self-pity and depression. But she would have none of it. The twinkle and the smile were still there. Even a light hearted, self-deprecating account of what was obviously a serious accident. Then pausing from trying to cheer me up, she reflected, “Life is certainly a great adventure story, isn’t it? There always seems to be one more surprise.”
I thought wouldn’t it be great to capture the essence of this amazing attitude, bottle it, share it, draw on it in need. And of course we can… from the same source as this indomitable lady. It is the grace of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that makes it all possible.
We are called to understand, appreciate and cooperate with God’s grace. He is at work in our lives, always available to mold, shape, direct, correct and repair. He is always present to us, ever sustaining, never forsaking. My friend got it. She understood God’s saving story-line for each of our life stories. That’s why for faithful, confident Christians each future chapter unfolds with opportunity, adventure and surprise that banishes fear and tedium; and replaces them with joy and expectation. Ultimately, that’s because we already know the end of the story. Our loving God waits to welcome us home to share the eternal adventure with us. And for that, I thank Him everyday.
On Sunday September 10, St. John’s will begin another new season. We open another new chapter in our ever deepening, always heartening relationship with God and one another. I look forward to sharing the adventure and surprise…grateful for all that God has done for us, eager for all that God will lead us to in the future.
Jane, Robert and I excitedly look forward to celebrating the new season with you in church on Sunday, September 10 and on Sunday September 17 for our Homecoming Barb-b-que.
Faithfully yours in Christ’s love,