Dear Friends in Christ,
Sunday is a pivot point at Grace Church. Our Music Director, Sam Scheff, will be leaving after a year and a half of faithful service. Our new Assistant Rector, the Rev. Emma Brice, will be joining us.
A friend asked me if I was tired of staff change. It is true that Grace—like many churches and other organizations in the wake of the pandemic—has had a lot of change in the past two years. But the question made me realize that I don’t feel tiredness. I feel hope.
The truth is, Grace is really good at transition. This place has a long history of raising up leaders—lay and ordained. We welcome new people among us with open hearts. We trust them with responsibility and authority. We share what we know about church and we allow them to become our teachers in turn.
And what happens after that? Lots of times, we launch them into their next stage of ministry. We expect them to keep growing.
I have seen this pattern, over and over, with our staff. (I am, of course, myself the beneficiary of this pattern, having served here as assisting clergy from 2003-2007.) I see it with lay leaders in the parish, too. We are at our best when we allow this kind of growth and dynamism.
What allows this pattern to happen? I believe it is possible because we are rooted in worship, which means we are rooted in God. Standing on that firm foundation, we have the resources for everything else to change.
And what else does this pattern allow? It means that more of us grow into maturity as leaders and as disciples. It means that our community gets wider, not smaller. It means that we have open hearts rather than fossilized minds.
I hope you come this Sunday to say goodbye and say hello. And I hope you continue to say those words often, and with trust.
Yours in Christ,