Last year during Lent the world and our lives were forever changed. Many of us have lost friends and loved ones over the last year and we have all lost things that we once took for granted. As more people are vaccinated and the infection rates continue to decline, we are beginning to see the restoration of some things and as the weariness of a life dominated by Covid, this restoration couldn’t come quickly enough. Here at St. Barnabas, a small number of us experienced the beginnings of restoration as we worshiped in the sanctuary for the first time in months. This was also the first time I was able to worship in person with many of you. I can tell you that I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way I never had before as we prepared to share communion together. In fact, I was so moved by God’s presence with us that I wept as I served those who were present that day.
About a year ago now, I was praying for and interviewing with churches during a time of discernment as Theresa and I began to feel a calling to move to a place where we could be closer to our families. I very much wanted to serve a church that God was calling me to rather than a church that would feel more like a “job.” I’ve had “jobs” during my 20 years of ministry, and I’ve also had “calls” Theresa, Leo, and I were at a point in our journey where we felt we could be patient and make sure that we would be going to a church and a place where we could put down roots and raise a family. Our first in-person worship together has confirmed for me what I already knew, that God has called me to serve here at St. Barnabas, and that The Holy Spirit is moving in a way that will lead us into restoration. I can honestly say that I have worked harder in the last two months or so than I have in quite some time. However, I can also tell you that I am happier than I have been in quite some time.
We are so happy that God has brought us here to serve alongside all of you and to make a home. While I know it will still be sometime before things look a bit more like the normal that we once knew, I know that we will get there. Further, I also know that we will walk that road together. I am so excited for all God has for us as a church family and I am humbled and honored that you have called me to be your rector.
Lenten Blessings to You All,