Normally we bring you our Rector’s monthly letter to the parish in our weekly Trinity Update newsletter. However, since our e-mail vendor has experienced a serious outage we are posting it here for your convenience.
Rector’s Letter for February
Rector’s Letter for February 2022
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ… knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:1, 5
This week I’ve worked steadily on an annual diocesan task, the Parochial Report. Before the pandemic this was just a matter of loading in the numbers for the previous year; the number of parishioners and services, the numbers of our income and expenses, and listing the ministries which we have in our parish. But for the last two years the Parochial Report has also included narrative questions that must be answered with essays. The process has been made more challenging by making us have to think! God forbid! Here was the main question:
Looking toward the future, what changes do you hope to see in your faith community? What does your community need in order to bring about these changes?
What a pain in the neck. Now I have to figure out if we have any hope and what that hope is…and if we have hope, how we are going to accomplish the things we hope for. But isn’t this exactly what we should be doing as a parish? We’re not meant to only be concerned about the Covid numbers yesterday and today and hope they’re better tomorrow. We need to have a hope that is grounded in faith in Christ and faith in each other.
Well, below is my response to the question. I hope that this might spark something in you about our parish hopefulness. Please get involved! Write or call me if you have ideas, or just to talk so that we can hope together!
Looking back on the year just passed, 2021, we began the year continuing with our well-produced video services thanks to the expertise and imagination of Christine Gevert, our Music Director. Realizing that we were reaching current and former parishioners as well as newly interested parishioners, we hoped we could find a more sustainable method for bringing worship to people remotely. Mid-year (2021) we engaged a firm to do livestream production and posting for us. Our hope that this is a long-term solution that that will be viable for many years to come. We had been forced by the pandemic into the challenge of providing remote worship, but now we are glad about it!
We also hope that we can also resume a new normal of worship where social distancing and masking aren’t so much in the forefront of our concerns. We want to return to our customary community gatherings. We’ve had BBQs outside in the summer, and coffee hours after church when the disease took a bit of a hiatus in 2021. But we really hope to be able to share a meal together inside!
We look forward with hope to re-starting our popular choral concerts by Crescendo led by our Music Director. And we also hope to restart our successful community art shows led by Mary Anne Carley. God willing, we will do so in 2022.
We hope to forge new bonds of friendship with our Hispanic congregation in whatever way gives all of us together a sense of belonging and inclusiveness. Along with our Hispanic missioner, the Rev. John Carter, we want to not just do things for the Hispanic community but with them. As the pandemic becomes endemic, we hope for a closer relationship between our two congregations.
Mostly, we hope that Trinity Lime Rock will continue to be open to the Holy Spirit to guide us in finding new opportunities to serve God and the community in the future.
What will we need to bring about these things we hope for? We’ll need open hearts and willing spirits to perceive how we are called to be God’s people and do God’s work. We also need a little patience to not try to rush headlong into the next thing that suddenly appears on the horizon.
We look with hope towards what lies ahead. And we ask for God to give us strength and guidance.