“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
During the first 15 months of the pandemic (before in person ministry ramped up to where we are today!), I spent more of my time outdoors, hiking as close as Valley Forge and the Poconos and as far away as Virginia and New York. During this time, I came to notice the subtle beauty of the change of seasons in a way that I had not noticed before. Each change of season comes with its own distinct colors and textures and sounds. The birds and crickets and bees just seem to know what to do as each new season emerges.
Our lives move through seasons too as does the life of a congregation. Some seasons are hurtful and some joyful, some uncertain and some filled with anticipation. Some seasons are times of growth, others times of rest, and yet others to plant seeds and bulbs for seasons to come.
One of the keys to contentment at any season of life, for individuals and faith communities, is to recognize where we are and what we are called to do. To look at the big picture and discover where and how we can contribute to what is beautiful and life giving and good.
As we pause to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives, food and drink, family and friends, healing and hope, I want to thank so many of you for being a blessing through the many seasons this congregation has experienced as the people of God. Thank you for your patience and flexibility, your prayers and support, your spirit of compassion and welcome, and for the many ways that you have given generously from the blessings you have been given, helping individuals and families in need, making our new building possible, and discovering new ways to provide financial support even when the offering plate is not being passed.
Through the change of seasons, faces have changed in our life together. Some have moved on to new addresses and churches and some have gone on to meet their Maker. There have certainly been seasons of sorrow. And yet I am overwhelmed by how richly blessed we are with new members, a new building, new ways of doing ministry and, as folks gradually return from pandemic exile, hope for many seasons to come.
On behalf of the staff of St. Andrew’s I wish you a truly blessed Thanksgiving and a hope filled Advent and Christmas season.
Grace and peace,