My Siblings in Christ,
We continue to be in a season of reconnecting, as we reconnect with each other and the wider community.
It is also a season of new starts. September brought the hints of the cooler autumn air alway remind me of being a student and returning to classes. It meant getting to see the familiar faces of friend and meeting new ones.
Oh, how I wish for the simple new start of a school year.
We have been emerging from the days of the pandemic that kept us apart and had us longing to be together in community with our family and friends. We have lived through almost three years of global stress and unprecedented upheaval. Every system that undergirds our society has been challenged and stressed.
God has helped us through it, but the experience has changed us and so our relationships have also changed.
So even as we continue the process of reconnecting, in many ways our ministry together has the feeling of a “new start.”
“God has helped us through it, but the experience has changed us and so our relationships have also changed.”
Obviously for myself, as the new rector, the last 9 months have been filled with new starts. I continue to be grateful to meet the many wonderful and faithful people of this community and to join in the ministry that is being done. I do acknowledge that for all of you I am part of the change that has happened at St. Mark’s. But, I also have been walking beside St. Mark’s parish leaders and volunteers as they have faced new starts and renewing connections. Many of our ministries have been hampered and weakened by the impact of the pandemic, but I remain encouraged about the challenges ahead by the faith, enthusiasm, and commitment of our parish leaders and volunteers.
I continue to ask for your prayers, your understanding, and your patience as renew and restart those ministries of Good News. And as we continue into the fall, and past Thanksgiving, I encourage us to express our gratitude and relief that largest part of the shadow of the pandemic has passed.
I am thankful to God for being our source of strength and guidance through these challenging times for all of us. I am thankful for the new beginnings and opportunities for new starts that have opened up to us. I am thankful for the renewing spirit that has stirred the hearts of our leaders and volunteers to help and to pray.
Our journey together certainly will not be without further challenges but with God to guide us, I trust that we will find our way by following Christ’s light and reflecting it others.
The Rev’d Rob Park