Holy Week, 2011 As I write this letter the rain is falling and we’re getting a healthy dose of “April showers”. To be honest, I don’t even mind if the “May flowers” are still a few weeks away - I’m just glad it’s not snowing! This winter we had more than 80 inches of snow, or almost double the season average (and according to Boston.com that’s enough snow to bury Shaquille O’Neal). Needless to say, it was a long winter. By the time our snow finally melted I had forgotten just how wide the church’s front walkway really is. I had gotten so used to the narrow snow-path in front of the church that it suddenly felt like our property had grown. I liked that.
After my first six months at St.C’s I feel the same way about our parish community. We have grown. And unlike my experience with our front walkway, this isn’t an optical illusion. We have grown. Our pledging has grown 20%. Our parish activities have grown to include successful events like a Wine Tasting, a Coffee Tasting, and a Kids Game Night. Our outreach has grown to include a new Job Club that was featured on Quincy TV, as well as a new program called Community Buzz that’s creating new opportunities for dialogue and relationship with our neighbors. Our Sunday participation has grown to include new readers, new counters, and new people helping at Coffee Hour. We have also grown in our stewardship of the buildings and grounds by improving our boiler efficiency, upgrading our main electrical panel, and beginning our beautiful kitchen renovation. All of this, and after the first quarter of 2011 we are still 8% ahead of our annual budget.
Sometimes the change of seasons can help us see things in a new light. Sometimes the world hasn’t really changed but it feels that way because we gain a new appreciation or a new perspective. However, Easter is about something more. For Christians, Easter is about a real change that’s actually happened. We haven’t just gained a new perspective on the same old world, but God has actually done something and the world is a different place. At Easter, the same God who created the world has overcome death and destruction to begin remaking the world in the resurrection of Jesus. This is both our future hope, and the story we live right now.
Over the past six months, St.C’s has been living a resurrection story. We have been stepping into new life and new hope. Thank you for showing me a living picture of resurrection every time I step onto our front walkway and enter the church. Maybe our walkway hasn’t really grown - but we have.
Rev. Eric M. Hillegas