As we begin a new year and a new decade, St. Elisabeth’s is alive with expectation and opportunity. We are filled with thanksgiving for the blessings we added to the Gratitude Tree during the fall. Memories of a beautiful Advent and a glorious Christmas celebration linger in our memories, as do the challenging words of that beautiful hymn we sang together on Christmas Eve – “Emmanuel… Emmanuel…They call his name Emmanuel…GOD WITH US, REVEALED IN US…Emmanuel, Emmanuel.”
How will God be revealed in us in these times ahead? What difference will the members of St. Elisabeth’s make in the wider community? How will we use our resources to achieve our mission of sharing an adventurous spirit and a commitment to radiate God’s love within and beyond our red doors? In what new ways will be move forward in achieving our goal of being a center of dialogue, mutual respect and understanding among those of different faiths or no faith, those of different cultures and races, those with different gender identities and life experiences? How can we be a place of healing and reconciliation?
Together, we will work to address these opportunities and to prepare ourselves to welcome new families and a new rector. It’s a big order and will require the participation of each of us. Your ideas, questions and excitement are important, so I encourage you to join us in the special conversations, forums and formation opportunities that await us in the coming weeks. Our Annual Meeting on January 26th and earlier budget conversations will provide a great way to learn more about what has been happening and will help us launch the start of planning for the next decade. The Vestry will use your input to draft a set of goals for all of us to adopt, and the Rector Search Committee will be preparing a Parish Profile for us to approve before we begin the formal process of seeking a new rector.
Thank you for all the ways each one is contributing to the life and ministry of this parish. Worshiping together; volunteering at the soup kitchen and Family Promise; singing in the choir’ serving as an acolyte, altar guild member, lay reader, lector or usher; contributing to building and grounds maintenance; planning and providing formation opportunities for all ages; preparing coffee hour and special events; raising and giving money to achieve our mission and ensure the future of this parish; preparing the budget and managing our finances; serving on the vestry or as a member of the staff; radiating God’s love in our daily lives – In all these ways we are the Body of Christ. In a world that seems dark at times and filled with uncertainty, with God’s help we can provide light, hope and love. As a parish community and as individuals we will strive to ensure that God is revealed in us.
God Bless You Throughout This New Year and New Decade!