Thanksgiving is almost here! As we approach the holiday, Darren and I are already planning the menu and thinking of activities in Boston that we can do with our guests who will be arriving tomorrow. Throughout our lives, we have both loved family holiday celebrations.
As many of you know, Darren and I both grew up in Northern California and have bounced back and forth between San Francisco and Boston during our adult lives. When we are in San Francisco, we spend holidays surrounded by parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Unfortunately, we have no relatives on the East Coast. But as I thought about the seven people who will be gathered around our table this Thanksgiving, I realized that they have all been part of our church family at some point in our lives.
One guest was a 6th grade chorister at a Presbyterian Church in San Francisco when I arrived as music director many years ago. Over the years we watched her grow up and go away to college. Little did we know that she would end up in Boston for graduate school not long after we arrived here. What a joy it was to help her get settled in a new part of the country and be there to help her in her new adventures.
Two other guests were active at St. Luke’s in San Francisco when I was working there. One sang in my choir and the other worked as the church administrator. They moved to New York just before we returned to Boston. We were thrilled to be able to see each other and enjoy the best of what both cities have to offer.
We met our last two guests at a church right here in Boston over a decade ago. We quickly found that we had many things in common: the arts, cooking, entertaining, and traveling just to name a few.
Over the years this group of friends has been an important part of our lives. We have celebrated with each other, helped each other, and consoled each other. The wonderful thing is that through this process these people have become more than friends. They have become our East Coast family.
One of the things that I find wonderful about Parish of the Epiphany is the way that people here care for one another. This congregation is always ready to welcome someone new but best of all, people truly care for one another and are willing to form deeper bonds. You are there for each other when people are in need and you are there to celebrate with each other when things go well. You want to get to know people and have them know you. Through this process, I’m sure that there are many of you who think of each other as family. I have no doubt that that is what God wants the church to be, and I know that it is one of the things that I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving.