On Sunday we will celebrate the beginning of a new Church year, moving from Year B in our lectionary cycle (our assigned Sunday readings) to Year C (the third of the three year cycle), and beginning again with the season of preparation and waiting, the season of Advent.
With the coming of this new year, we also are beginning to see a new St. Stephen’s taking shape and coming to form. It’s only been three months since I have joined you as the Rector, and already we are moving in bold directions to live into the call that Christ has put before us, both in the world and for our most vulnerable neighbors here in the Longview/Kelso community. Over the next couple of weeks, you will hear from me about new opportunities for service, from Family Promise to Radical Love to working in partnership with our ecumencial partners and Janus Youth Programs, we are taking on the mantle that is before us, and trying to better the lives of all in our community. This is exciting, life-giving work.
We are also growing together into finding how our identities as people of faith can grow and mature with the influence of each other, and I am inspired by the passion and commitment that I have personally observed from basically everyone I have met. It is this passion and commitment that inspires me to dream bigger about the offerings I hope to see come to life here in this place, and to dream bigger about what we are all called to do in our life as followers of the way of love, as followers of Christ. This upcoming year will hopefully find you fellowshipping and reflecting throughout the season of Advent, enjoying Reel Theology (an upcoming film-based formation experience), growing in our understanding of what it means to have Green Faith, journeying on the Way of Love in Lent, and rejoicing in what it means to be Easter People, all which is before next summer!
This upcoming year is going to be full of excitement, full of learning, full (well, hopefully not full) of coming up short, re-evaluating, and trying again. Together, this new year, this new St. Stephen’s, will begin to show us what we as a community can accomplish together, and the hopes for the future of this place.
I am hopeful about what will inspire us, about what will challenge us, about what will lead us into new. And, I am excited to approach this new year, together.