Evensong on Sunday marked not only the close of that day, but the close of a spring which included a return to many things we weren’t able to do together during the pandemic. Celebrating Pentecost marked another steppingstone in our journey through things that we have missed for three years and it feels good to experience the predictable rhythm of the church year (not that ‘predictable’ is in any danger of returning to my vocabulary).
For me, that familiar rhythm also serves to highlight the many ways that we have changed and grown as a church. People who were ‘new’ when we weren’t here to meet them in person are now integral to our life and activities. Midweek is now a part of our rhythm. Children grow older even faster when I don’t see them as often and it is a new group running around the Cloister or Bishop Garden while we meet in Hadley Hall. Amid uncertainty and an unfamiliar path, we embraced new things and took the risk of moving forward with new visions.
As Dave McSweeney shared in the newsletter several weeks ago, at our Vestry Retreat in May, Rev. Nick read Joshua 1:1-9 about God’s commissioning of Jacob in the aftermath of Moses’ death and posed questions to us: Where have we been over the past year together? Where are we now, and what crossroads are we facing? In the Midweek Bible Study several weeks later, he read the same passage and asked that group similar questions. At the Mission & Outreach Retreat this past weekend, that group began the day in the chapel with the same reading and similar questions.
Each time I hear the words in the passage from Joshua and each time I reflect on the questions, I notice different things and my answers change a bit. Similarly, the conversation within each group evolves in a different way reflecting the experiences and connections in that group. Yet, there are echoes across the conversations that reflect the ties between us and our shared experience of church at Epiphany.
As we continue to talk about where we are and where we feel called to go, I am energized by what is new and deeply grateful for being with so many of you again in the familiar rhythms of Epiphany.