Dear friends in Christ,
What a glorious Christmas we shared here at Trinity. Beautiful worship and song, pageants and crèches, fellowship and feasting—all to celebrate the Good News that Christ is born anew in our hearts, and in our world. The Light has come into the world. Alleluia!
Now we are in the season of Epiphany—a time to open ourselves to the miracle of the Word made flesh in Jesus, the miracles of our lives; Epiphany is an invitation to see our lives lit by Christ’s Light. What is revealed? What is new? What can we see up close, all around us, and in the distance? Christ pours himself into all the spaces and places of our lives; lighting even our darkest moments with hope and love. That is His promise to us—that He is present in everything, in our joys and in our pain and sorrows; near to us, shining Light and Love always. Alleluia!
We all received a letter from Becky+ yesterday announcing that she has been called to be the new rector at St. Paul’s in Natick, MA. This is wonderful news for her, as she is a gifted priest and brings all the faith and leadership any congregation could pray for in a rector and spiritual companion. How blessed are our brothers and sisters in Natick to have Becky on her way to them for their new season. How blessed are we here at Trinity to have walked in Christ’s Light with Becky for almost eight years. I have only shared these last two years, but am so very grateful to Becky for her wisdom, friendship, and faithful witness of Christ’s light and love in this place. It is hard to say good bye to beloved colleagues, friends, and priests as the love is real and meaningful. We will send Becky to the good people of St. Paul’s knowing that God holds all of us together in One Body—the Church — trusting that Light will guide her and us as together we continue to serve Christ.
On Sunday, Feb. 16 we will celebrate Becky’s ministry at Coffee Hour. If you would like to contribute to a gift for Becky and her family, please send your check to Nancy Marshall marked “Becky farewell” in the memo line no later than Feb 12.
Next steps: Your rector, wardens, and vestry are already in conversation about what happens next. The selection of any curate, assistant, or associate is made by the rector in consultation with the vestry. There is no Search Committee process. Part of the discernment involves our budget. There are clear compensation guidelines for clergy in our diocese, so whom we are able to attract will depend upon the availability of resources. If you have not yet pledged, please do, so the vestry is working with real numbers for the 2020 budget.
This time of discernment and transition will be marked by these guiding principles:
PRAYER: God is with us in all our days. Each of us need to stay connected to God in prayer and worship, coming to the table each week, and joining in the Daily Office on Wednesdays as you are able. We will pray for wisdom and discernment, patience and joy in this time of transition; trusting that God will send us new people to join with us in our prayers and ministry.
TIME: We have plenty of time. God will provide. We will not rush into any hire, but discern carefully about what skills and gifts we need to deepen our faith and service to Christ.
MINISTRY: Our ministry to proclaim the Good News here on Elm St. does not stop in times of transition. We will continue our ministry together; and use this opportunity to deepen our faith; perhaps learning new things, trying new things, taking on new roles. Please pray about how you are called in this season of transition.
If you have questions about any of this news, please reach out to me directly. 978-369-3715, ext. 12.
The Light has come into the world! Alleluia! In this season of Light and love, may we give thanks for our life together and for the many gifts offered by every member of the Body of Christ. All will be well, for the Light shines before us always. Alleluia!
Yours in Christ,
Photo: Nancy J. Hagner Woods in New Hampshire Dec. 2019