Dear Ones,

When I was a freshman in high school, I was required to memorize all of T.S. Eliot’s “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock.” It has, of course, become a joke among classmates when we run into each other these many years later because, for the most part, we can still recite it verbatim (note: this is not an invitation to ask me!). What started out as a requirement soon morphed into a real love of Eliot and his wordy way with ideas.
A favorite, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was a mainstay in our children’s early years; I can remember Paul reading it almost every night to each of our girls. At about 18 months, Cecilia would rattle off all of “Mr. Mistoffelees” in a delightfully tiny baby voice. 

But it was many years after all of this that I finally encountered “Burnt Norton,” which contains the glorious phrase: “At the still point of the turning world.” 
The "still point of the turning world" is a place that is not goal-oriented. It does not move from anything or toward anything. Rather, the still point is a place where our souls can find a sense of peace even as the world around us changes and changes again. This poem has been on my mind the past month as I have stood in the middle of the sea of change going on around us here at Christ Church. 

Last Sunday we were overjoyed to welcome Ross Pennock to the Christ Church team! Ross and his fiancée Eréndira Jimenez are parishioners at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and live in North Park. In the newly created Director of Communications position, Ross will oversee Communications for both the church and Christ Church Day School. 

The scope of this new role is enormous! It includes everything from running the sound system on Sunday morning to managing social media, databases, and mass email communications as well as the important job of helping Christ Church and CCDS tell the story of our work, mission, and vision. Yet, with a background in both live music and management and a month-old Master of Divinity degree from Yale, Ross is uniquely suited to serve in this capacity. 

A hello from Ross himself:
Hello Christ Church family! Thank you all for such a warm welcome over the last week. A little about me: I was born in Sioux Falls, SD where I grew up going to church, playing ping pong in the youth room, and attending summer camp in the sacred Black Hills. When I'm not working I spend my time immersing myself in many State and National Parks as I can to hike and camp under the stars. Since moving to San Diego where my fiancée grew up, I've been learning to surf as well! I have a passion for racial justice and inter-generational care, and find God's purpose for me working within the Episcopal Church to become a local, and global hub for both. I am grateful to be invited into your collective story, and cannot wait to see what Christ has in store for us all!
Last Sunday, we also said goodbye to Karen Ray Nelson. From filming and editing to sound systems, Camp Create, and office fill-ins, Karen Ray has been an integral part of our Christ Church team this past year. While we will miss her calm, kind presence, I am thrilled that Karen Ray is headed back to CSU-Fullerton to be a college student physically at college this year!
And this Sunday, we will say goodbye to Daniel Tugend and celebrate his tenure in serving Christ Church as Facilities Specialist. We are grateful for Daniel’s good work, which has changed almost every week since we started opening up again. We wish him well, and I hope you will take a moment on Sunday to thank him! If you would like to send a card to him through the church, we will be sure that he receives all your well wishes.
Hellos and goodbyes and hellos and goodbyes. As I said last Sunday, I do not think I have ever stood in the middle of so much change. Yet, as I talk with colleagues and friends, the season of change is not just here but everywhere right now. I keep thinking how the pandemic shook us all loose to go where we need to go and do what we need to do. Certainly that was my own family's impetus to leave a parish and place that we loved to move across the country in the middle of a global pandemic to be with you all!

However, I am particularly cognizant of the fact that Christ Church has experienced almost constant change from the moment Mtr Anne announced her retirement. Mtr Anne retired, Fr Mac jumped in, an interim rector came, a rector search began, the pandemic hit, a new rector came, Christie retired, and in the last three weeks we have said what feels like a million hellos and goodbyes. 

It is enough to make your head spin! Yet, all is well and all shall be well. The church is poised to open its doors in all ways this Fall as we step fully into what we know church to be: a place of deep connection to God and neighbor. We are looking to stand up full programming, forums, additional meals and fellowship time, more church services, and many, many opportunities to deepen our relationship with God and each other.
And just before we take off on this new journey—the first opportunity for real programming in my rectorate!—I am going to step away for rest and renewal. I will be out of the office through August 15th enjoying my family and the California coast. 

I realized this week that this is the first Sunday that I have been away since I started last November! However, Fr Mac has offered to jump in again and provide us one change fewer😊 Fr Mac will serve at the altar August 1st and 8th and is available along with Deacon Tom for pastoral emergencies.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday when we will also be blessing the incredible number of backpacks donated to the Bridgers Backpack Drive! 

Blessings and prayers as we work together to find the still point in the spin—

The Reverend Regan Shutz
Christ Episcopal Church
1114 Ninth Street, Coronado, CA 92118