As I write this, we just had the most beautiful day at CGS. Today our sanctuary was full of people, singing, praying, and receiving Holy Communion together. It was so strange and beautiful to see so many people in the sanctuary! Even though our voices were muffled by masks, it was a beautiful sound.
Then, like a sequel of a good dream, we had a potluck in the garden. I swear we haven't done that for 2 years! It made me wonder, who organized these before? I know it wasn't me. I'm horrible at celebrating. God has given me gifts that turn out useful for starting new things. One drawback of these gifts is that I am often negligent about celebrating and thanking. That's not good.
Even our creation mythology points out the necessity and holiness of celebration. Every day that God creates something new, God celebrates it by saying it was good. And when the whole symphony is written, God takes a day off to enjoy it. I want to take this moment to thank all the people who planned our celebration day this past Sunday.
Thank you to the council for planning it and putting the potluck in motion. I think it’s funny that you thought it could be a secret! Thank you to Doug for setting up the tables and equipment. Thank you Jean, Janet, and Noriko for setting and fretting and cooking for everyone. Thank you to everyone who made or purchased food. I don’t really know who you are but I did see some familiar dishes on that table so I know that lots of you brought food. Thank you to the people whom I saw cleaning up afterwards (always the job that’s hardest to fill) I think that in addition to the organizers I saw Betty, Stefan, Emma, Judith, Joe, Steve, & Phil - thank you!
Thank you also to everyone who has made hybrid and transitioning worship possible. To Matt & Daniel who have engineered and set up our new live-streaming system to work both in person and online. Thank you to Steve and Phil who have provided us with answers to our questions, ideas to our problem-solving, and who have gone out shopping to sometimes buy the equipment we needed! Thank you to our staff, Rey, Aline, and Daniel for investing themselves in making worship happen a new way almost every week because something COVID related changes. Thank you to Gregg who has been filling in at the computers when Aline is sick or out of town - and who did so at the last minute on Sunday! Thank you to Janet who has shuffled, trained, and organized our worship volunteers for Sunday mornings. And thank you to everyone who is pitching in for worship; this past Sunday it was Paul, Joy, Andy, & Betty but I know that there are many more of you who are making worship happen and giving your time and energy where we might not all see it.
I should have been doing this more often all this time. I’m sorry if I did not thank you for your service or your self when you showed up in some way at CGS. Please know that I did see you, though. I saw you pitching in, giving your free time, putting yourself out there to help, doing the things that maybe no one else was able or willing to do. Not only did I see it - it made a difference to me. I know it made a difference to a lot of other people, too.
~ Pastor Manda
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Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.