A little more than a year ago, I was not feeling all that optimistic about St. Andrew’s condition and prospects. COVID and the lack of a permanent Rector had worn me out. I was on the search committee for a new Rector, but we were having little luck. Church was beginning to feel like a drain; like I was giving and not getting much back. Leaders from the Diocese and fellow members of the search committee told me that God had the perfect person to lead our church; I just needed to be patient and we would eventually discover them…
…I will admit that my faith doesn’t really work like that. I am terrible at waiting and listening for God’s plan. The notion that the ideal person for St. Andrew’s was out there somewhere and would find us seemed unbelievable and I worried for our congregation’s future. I know it was a tough time for many of us at St. Andrew’s. We’ve lost friends and family. Beloved ones have passed; others moved far away. Challenges piled up and being patient didn’t seem to help. I feared the lifeblood of St. Andrew’s was starting to dry up.
But then something happened that really does seem to me like a minor miracle. Rev. Jen responded to our call. And she is, in her own words, “on fire” to bring life back to St. Andrew’s. We are starting youth instruction for three age-levels! There is well-attended Bible and poetry study, weekly! We are resuming Eucharistic service at The Waters! We’ve started inviting each other into our homes again and showing each other the hospitality we value so much at Coffee Hour! I see new faces every Sunday service! In a very real sense, our prayers were answered.
We have so much to be grateful for. We are building something again, rather than just barely hanging on. But we cannot build on Rev. Jen’s energy alone.
I guess this is where I reveal that I am kicking off this year’s pledge campaign. I will write and speak about different reasons for giving throughout the month, but I wanted to start with the most exciting reason to give to St. Andrew’s this year: we asked God for someone to lead and sustain our Church and she came. The heart of St. Andrew’s is beating again. As our work resumes and grows, there’s no way to avoid the reality that it takes money. Please begin to think about giving this year. There are so many wonderful things happening again, I hope we all find a way to take part.