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“A Generous Community”
This an apt title for this year’s pledge campaign
I would like to start by sharing a small part of my spiritual journey. Mike and I have been attending St. Andrew’s for 13 years. But before St. Andrews’ I followed Mike from one Episcopal Church to another. I was fine with attending church. I like the music. I love to sing. There are beautiful words in church services, and often there is wisdom in the sermons. But what I liked most was the anonymity.
I will now skip to our first visit to St. Andrew’s. The most memorable part for me was Mother Elizabeth quoting Gerard Manley Hopkins – a poet I adore. I thought to myself, “I think I like it here.” I was not instantly comfortable, but I believe I felt God’s grace in a way I never had before.
I can tell one story that is amusing to me now, but not the first years at church. Before the Peace is given, I would start to sweat and not let go of Mike, and he would have to push me away. Now, the Peace, is something I relish, both the giving and the receiving. St Andrew’s and all of you have been more than generous to me. I so appreciate the friends who make up this congregation. Community is something I was missing in my life, and love is given freely here with no judgment. We all need hope, love, and an inclusive community in these troubled times.
Please share generously with whatever resources you have available.
I will close with Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Glory to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut falls; finches wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow and plough
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: