Dear Creator Family,
This past year we have had to make some sad adjustments to long-held plans. Variations in worship, restrictions to meetings, precautions when gathering, and canceling the Yard Sale have all taken a toll on our collective joy and maybe even our optimism about what comes next. It is natural when in the midst of a crisis, to focus on the crisis; in fact, one could say that that is the only way to meet a crisis—head-on! But in truth, the answer to any crisis is not found in the crisis at all, but outside of it, and it takes looking outside to clearly see the answer.
When we canceled the Yard Sale for COVID precautions, we had to turn outside to deal with our stockpile of items. This led us to partner with Redeemer Roman Catholic Church to strengthen their fundraising Yard Sale supporting Christian relief for the people of Haiti. We were also led to an organization called Fix Ministry, which runs a thrift shop for battered woman’s support; a vital and underappreciated need. In reality, our “crisis of stuff” has been used by God to relieve pain and suffering and provide hope and promise to more people than we can imagine. Looking outside of our Parish Family, through the lens of our disappointment, we find God clearly guiding and directing the outcome. Has this not been so for all the disappointments and crises of the past year? Look closely. Do you see that God has always been there, waiting for us to look outside ourselves to find his presence and peace?
The Parish Hall clean-out has taken much longer than we hoped (remember the old saying, “Everything takes longer than it takes!”), but God has taken the glory from failure and used this time to help others in ways we couldn’t imagine. And God has also helped us redeem and transform our loss into a new direction for our own parish. Now is the time for us to rally behind this good fortune and complete the work we started before the pandemic, a time when God was calling us to large actions and bold living!
Several months ago, the Vision Committee met and proposed bold actions to match the opportunity we have been given, now is the time to start the next phase. First step? It’s very tangible and very big: We need to restore and repurpose our Parish Hall (pre-yard sale stuff) as you would your own home, starting with a final clearing of the remainders of yard sale goods (small by comparison if you witnessed the “mountain” accruing over the past two seasons), and a deep clean of a place we care deeply about. We need to prepare our building for use: a place of hospitality and welcome for outside groups; for our congregation’s fellowship, ministries, parish administration, and educational purposes; for God’s yet-to-be-realized plans already moving in our midst. There are other ministry opportunities for our Parish Hall and God is calling us to make these opportunities a reality! Will you help to further this work, this ministry? Can we learn from the unexpected blessings God has given us through others to anticipate—no, expect those blessings again and again?
Out of one ending, we find a new beginning: an opportunity to be a co-Creator with God, looking outside while working inside as we live in God’s plan. Please pray for the efforts ahead, and most importantly, find your niche within them.
Faithfully in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†