Dear Friends in Christ,
Thank you for making it together from last July through this June. Thank you for navigating faith, mission, Covid, uncertainty, surprises, joys, songs, new life, loss, grief, little “miracle meals” that are hard to open for communion, and climate change that affects our utility use and our utility bills.
Why July to June? Well, that’s our program year: when we start our new committee structures, our budget, and our vision for mission and ministry ahead. And what a year it has been.
Just eight weeks ago we celebrated twenty years together as pastor and parish, and our leaders led such a wonderful, city-wide worship and party that it brought in many and inspired all.
Just four weeks ago, at our Annual Meeting, we voted a program that means examining and deciding whether to end our Senior Housing project as it’s been (we must), and whether to give God thanks for a century of owning a parsonage by also saying, we won’t manage it any more. We voted to send our pastor to non-parsonage housing, and we decided to increase our mission giving yet again. All to be the best church that we can be in Jesus’ name.
Just three weeks ago we learned that our music director of 23 years would conclude his ministry, as Lynd Matt decided to move to Manhattan. We recognized him in worship and celebration—all to be the most faithful church we can be in Jesus’ name.
We’ve celebrated with our children, sent sandwiches to Waltham, collected 110 cans of tuna for Newton Food Pantry, and more.
We’ve begun to name our own reaction to the elimination of health care choices for women in America. We’ve continued to support groups that seek to serve the displaced, injured, and assaulted in Ukraine. We just helped a liberal, hands-on seminary in Guatemala, where progressive Christian voices are much in need. We have prayed together, sung together, and worked together.
And now it is July again. And there is so much to do in the seasons to come.
But start with this: with the fourth commandment. Remember the sabbath and keep it holy. By this we recall that after lots of work God rested. As one scholar says, since we can’t create light, darkness, or life, the way we can be most like God is to rest and honor the holiness of all this. So, find a place for sabbath this July. Full days of sabbath, like in the Bible.
Then, of course we are forming an interim music director search, more 150th anniversary events, another moment with Lynd, a Confirmation group, and much more. Of course, we’ll get back to missions and prayers and—Covid permitting—maybe even adult education! We’ll get back together. But find your sabbath both here and beyond, thank God (and thank you) for all we’ve completed, and the reason God rested was to get back to creation and all its wondrous opportunities and needs. And for us to be the best church that we can be in Jesus’ name.
See you in church,