“And so this is Christmas….
…and what have you done?” sang the great John Lennon!
Well, in 2018 we have done a huge amount, building upon the good work which St John the Divine has been doing over many years by meeting the current needs of our own community and the community around us, and exploring our current path, calling, and direction together.
As always, this season, the start of a new church year, calls to mind all that has made up our shared life and all those who have contributed to that life. As is so often the case, there is much to give thanks for. Many thanks to all of you who have worked so hard in our shared ministry together – on events, with programs, in groups, and through ways too numerous to mention. To my colleagues on the staff team, to the hard working wardens, to the officers and Parish Council, to the many volunteers, and to all of you who support the work of our church with your time, your prayers, your money, your energy, and, above all, your love – thank you so very much.
Through 2018 we have seen ongoing work on our Visioning and Strategy process which we hope – despite setbacks – will come to fruition at Vestry in 2019. We also had a substantial and inspiring Diocesan Synod at which we considered our work of transformation as Christ-followers of the Anglican tradition on these Islands and Inlets. We saw many exciting developments in the life of our community, and we have continued to grow as a community here, in faith, hope, and love. We go into 2019, I hope, with a renewed sense of our calling to live out the values of our faith – beyond welcome to community, beyond inclusion to affirmation, beyond forgiveness to healing, beyond tolerance to graciousness, beyond giving to generosity, and beyond walls to expansive thinking, being, loving, and living. May this Christmas be a reminder of God with us, God within us, God around us, and God who surprises us in meeting us in the most unlikely – and even disturbing – people and places.
A very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year. With love and prayers for you all,
(The calendar for Christmas 2018 through to the end of March 2019 can be downloaded here.)