"Trusting God, Journeying Together, Building Community"
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God for His gracious gifts. This is a joyful time of year when we show our gratitude for bountiful harvests that are both literal and symbolic. As the leaves change into their Autumnal colours and begin to fall, we give thanks for the crops that have been grown under summer skies. We are also called to be thankful to God the Father, who is also a Gardener and our parish is one of his many gardens.
How have we grown as a parish this year?
First and foremost we have become closer as a community and as a Christian family. Under the guidance of Janet Marshall and the National Church Development initiative, we have managed to greatly improve the morale in our parish. Our progress led Janet to describe us as a model of renewal to be shared with other churches.
Our frank dialogues at Parish Forums, Vestry and Advisory Board meetings are an indication of the new reality that is moving us forward. We have launched a dynamic new Sunday school program that is helping to keep our traditions alive for future generations.
Working together, we have shown that we can meet our challenges. We have completed repairs to our church tower. More recently, when a major problem was discovered in our heating system, we came together at a Special Vestry and made the difficult decision to proceed with costly repairs.
We are also working on the long term picture by dealing with very difficult issues that have been ignored for far too long. We are working on plans to redevelop church property and get our financial house in order.
We offer heartfelt thanks to those who have stepped forward and contributed. However, there is still a lot of work ahead, including repairs within the church. We all need to increase our giving if we are to preserve our parish. The road ahead will be anything but easy and it may be a while before we harvest the fruit of our labours
Winter is coming, a time of preparation for the birth of our Lord. As the temperature plummets we must work even harder to keep our church warm and welcoming. Let us pray that our efforts allow us to continue to serve and worship here.
Richard and Shan