My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing as your Priest during this “interim” time between rectors at St. Mark’s Church. It is an “in-between” time. I have always loved “in-between” times, such as the time after Good Friday, and before Easter Sunday, or the time after the Ascension of Our Lord, and before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They provide opportunities for looking back, for pondering, and for looking ahead.
Since I came to St. Mark’s three years ago now, I have known it to be a special parish. Is it a perfect parish? No. Parishes, like families, aren’t perfect. Often there are disagreements, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. But healthy parishes, like families, find a way to work through these things by the grace of God. As I said in a recent sermon “we do not have to agree with one another on everything, but we do have to love one another with a Christ-like, sacrificial, and redemptive love.” This kind of love can overcome divisions, and it can lead to healing and hope.
During this “in-between” time, if you need help and clarity in “looking back”, I urge you to speak with our Senior Warden, Bill Albright, or one of the members of the Vestry.
As for “looking ahead “, I know that all our St. Mark’s family, the Vestry, and I are enthusiastic about several events coming up in the near future. First and foremost, is a tradition carried on since the earliest days of the church, the bishop visiting each parish in his diocese. Bishop Iker’s Annual Visitation to St. Mark’s will be on Sunday, September 10. There will be a brunch between the services at 9:00 AM to honor the bishop and the fine class of confirmands he will confirm at the 10:30 service. He will give a brief talk at the brunch, and you will have a chance to visit with him. He will also bless the Sunday School teachers and students as we prepare for a new year of growing in the Faith. There will be a brief meet and greet for the teachers and students.
The theme this year is “ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS “. The adult class will be a course on the Crusades that I will teach. Christian Education is one of the most important aspects of our Christian life. Please bring your children to Sunday School and plan to attend my class.
As we move into the Fall, the life of the church goes on, and there will be many opportunities for study, worship, and fellowship, such as the organ concert on Friday, September 15, the Wine Tasting Fund Raising Event, Saturday, September 30, the Blessing of the Animals to celebrate St. Francis Day which we will celebrate on Saturday, October 7, the Stewardship Dinner, Saturday, October 21, and the Procession of the Saints on All Saints’ Sunday, November 5…and continuing on as we live the Christian Year, worshipping together as a family at St. Mark’s.
I am asking each of you to pray for St. Mark’s during this time and to help our parish in every way possible, using the gifts and grace God has given each of us. We are the body of Christ in this place, and every member is vital.
God bless us all and guide us as we go forth during this time of transition.