It is with great joy and excitement that I return from sabbatical energized, to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, Living Our Values at Epiphany. It is all about LOVE! It is LOVE and only LOVE that will save the world. And as Jesus-following Christians, we see LOVE as our mandate. It is our mission! LOVE is what it means to be a Christian in Seattle in a post-COVID world. No question about it.
Because of the pandemic, we are a changed congregation. Several longtime members have passed to their glory. Pandemic guidelines have caused fewer new people to come through our doors. We have seen a significant number of parishioners move out of the area, and we suspect that some people have drifted away from faith (if this is you, I’d LOVE to hear from you).
I believe we are in a three-year period of rebuilding the congregation. Thankfully, we are well positioned to do this. We have a very strong staff, and we are focused on serving souls, which is our core value.
We need to stay the course—and because of you we can stay the course, so we must stay the course. No doubt there are difficulties. There are headwinds. There are divisions, anxiety, and consternation within our culture. Nevertheless, we know there are people looking for what we have to offer.
To meet our mandate to be loving Christians, we must band together and step up financially, if we can. I understand that the economy is giving some people anxiety right now. I get it. But if you have the resources, please be especially generous in your 2023 pledge.
I believe that by Living Our Values at Epiphany we will not only be a surviving Episcopal Church, but in three years, we will be one of the most thriving Episcopal churches in the United States. I am convinced we are called to be a living cornerstone of our tradition, reflecting its beautiful liturgy, its soul-caring theology, and its dynamic community service. Stand with me as we close the gap between the post-COVID chasm and the promised flourishing of our faith.
I am grateful to you.
Peace upon your soul.
Yours in Christ,