When I think about the last two years, I am amazed by all the friends that come and gone. We have said goodbye to some long-time members of the church as we have welcomed new friends that have quickly grown into leadership in our community. The vestry, flower guild, altar guild, ushers and greeters, and committees have all benefitted from the new membership in the church.
When I think about incorporating so many into our community in a relatively short period of time, it is clear to me that that we need to emphasize two things to make sure that we continue to quickly welcome and utilize our newest members.
The first is the importance of the stewardship card. New members, especially, need to fill out the time and talent portion of the stewardship card so that we can quickly identify where newcomers feel called to offer their gifts at Christs Church. The leaders of these ministries can then incorporate their talents into the rich and rewarding ministries of the church.
The second emphasis must be on fellowship. I know that this has been identified as a challenge, especially after the 11 a.m. service. The time between 9:45 and 10:45 a.m. offers a time for fellowship and education between the services. In addition, the library has become host to coffee and conversation after the 11 a.m. service thanks to the faithful gesture of a few church members.
Please be mindful of the importance of continuing our long-term practice of radical hospitality and welcome at Christ Church. I know that the temptation to greet those with whom you are most familiar is ever present but the blessing of having newcomers with us is a gift that most churches do not have. We are blessed by their presence with us.
What a rich and rewarding time this last two years has been! Catherine and I are thankful every day for the opportunity to be a part of the Christ Church community. Thank you for blessing us so richly, we look forward to many more years of ministry with you all.