This is a time when many of us pause to review the year that has passed and, even more commonly, look ahead at the year to come and “resolve” to do a few things differently. In our parish life together, we did some looking back on our ministries together at our annual meeting on December 6th. If you missed it, the report is online.
Some of the highlights for me have been
- a mission trip to migrant farmworker camps in Eastern NC and subsequent collection of pants and gloves to shield the workers’ bodies from pesticides;
- witnessing the spiritual growth and friendships among our growing youth group, especially among those who made a pilgrimage to Spain;
- watching gaggles of young children look for and unite with their parents before gathering at the altar together for Communion each Sunday;
- noticing the blend of new and “seasoned” among us as we sat under the shade of oak trees at Independence Park for our annual picnic in June;
- crying, praying, and singing alongside several of you as you have experienced loss and hardship;
- celebrating how we continue to grow in love for one another and the community in quiet ways like delivering Easter lilies to homebound parishioners and louder ways such as walking together in the CROP Walk, Pride Parade or AIDS walk.
Friends, as we enter this new calendar year, remember that what makes St. Peter’s such a vibrant place isn’t primarily our beautiful facilities or thoughtful programs or amazing choir; rather, it is our relationships with one another and with the Incarnate One, in whom we live, move and have our being, that enables us to live into our vision and God’s dream for us. It is from these relationships that we are energized and empowered, each of us in particular ways at St. Peter’s and beyond its doors, to serve the One who loves us first and forever.
As we enter 2016, may we resolve to make ourselves available to the relationships and love that make St. Peter’s shine ever more brightly as a “beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte.”
—The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector