It is the start of Advent, and I have returned from sabbatical. I am looking forward to seeing all of you, and re-connecting with you. I know that there have been joys, challenges and sadness in the parish during the past four months, but I also know that the people of All Saints’ responded with faith, energy and commitment. I am very grateful to the parish for this sabbatical, and I am returning to you refreshed and renewed for ministry as your rector. I am especially thankful to Deacon Beth , our Wardens Tom Day and Jackie Sullivan, and the parish staff for their fine work and leadership. I hope to see many of you this coming Sunday at worship and at the pot-luck lunch, when we can begin to share our sabbatical stories with one another. It is good to be back home at All Saints’!
The (almost) daily Advent meditations this year will include some of what I have been reading and thinking about during the sabbatical. I hope and pray that this Advent will be a time when you can feel held and nurtured and sustained by God as we look for the coming of Christ - not only in his birth in Bethlehem, nor just in the “life of the world to come” at the end of this present time, but in each of our hearts and in the world around us.
Blessings, Vicki McGrath+
Advent is about hope – the hope that God has not abandoned us, has not forgotten us, has not left us alone. God knows and cares about every fiber of our being, even the things we are not proud of, even the things that cause us pain and heartache. God is the Creator of the universe who made us and pronounced his creation good. God is the Savior and Redeemer of the world who has come into human life in the person of Jesus and draws us into the divine life. God is the Spirit who makes us whole and holy. It is this God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – that we love and serve and worship. As St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” That is hope, indeed. May you know hope today.