Every priest develops favorite phrases for use in public prayer. I love to pray for eyes to see and hearts to receive God's divine surprises. This stint as your Interim Rector has unquestionably been the biggest surprise of my life. It wasn't in my plans. Thank you for making this surprise so divine. Here's what I can tell you about the people of St. Margaret's, based on my divine experience of these last 18 months:
You are gracious with one another's shortcomings, always giving encouragement and looking for the best. Thank you.
You are generous, always looking for ways that you can give from whatever God has entrusted to you: time, talents or treasure. Thank you.
You are faithful, always trusting that God will show up. Thank you.
You are joyful, the fruit of your faithfulness. Thank you.
You are deeply, deeply compassionate, always asking how God can use you to meet the needs of others. Thank you.
Seeing all this has made me sure from the beginning that Heaven has big ideas for St. Margaret's. Here is my parting counsel: If you can add one trait to this list, nothing will be able to stop you from fully living into those big ideas.
. Too much self-assurance makes it hard for the Holy Spirit to find an opening. Curiosity opens the door for her to work her wonders. Let this be my legacy among you: Install a switch in your psyche. When you are sure someone else is wrong, flip that switch and become curious about what hopes, fears or perceptions drive their opinion. If you catch yourself feeling angry or disappointed with anyone in leadership, turn that switch. Become curious about what they were thinking and go talk to them about it.
I have gotten to know most of you, and I swear you are all lovable. So, I can promise that curiosity will allow you to discover just how lovable you all are.
This email comes from my church address, to which you can reply this week. After July 31, the best address to use is email@example.com, if you need to reach me about matters apart from church. Please understand that my separation from parish life for some months is expected and holy. This allows space in the garden for new growth.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, through the power of the Holy Spirit,