Beloved in Christ,
This past weekend marked my one-month anniversary as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, and what a month it has been! My family and I have been warmly welcomed into this generous and loving community in so many ways. It has been my joy to learn about all of the wonderful programs and projects at Grace and to worship regularly with you.
Now, following five weeks of preparation we are approaching the most important day on the church calendar: our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. When asked about my favorite holiday, I have always identified Easter for its sweetness, fellowship, and the outburst of JOY that I feel when singing, praying, and celebrating in Christian community the astonishing free blessing of salvation given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
For many of us, Easter is a time of welcome, when family members who do not see each other often have the opportunity to renew relationships and new friends get to know one another better. It is also a time to consider what it means to each of us to identify ourselves as "Christian," and to think about how what we believe translates into how we act in the world. In the words of Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Michael Curry:
"Jesus ... [came] to show us, that God has another way. That violence
is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality
are not the way. Jesus came to show us there is another way.
The way of unselfish, sacrificial love."
Grace Episcopal Church is a community based in our gratitude for that tremendous love and a mutual desire to share it with others. I would like to invite you to journey with me toward our Easter celebration of that sacrificial love by participating in all of our Holy Week services as we prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter, and to please consider making a deeper connection to the parish through a donation of time, talent, and/or treasure. I hope to see you often during and beyond the season of Easter.