Riding the Wave
I imagine that most of you are quite familiar with our Christopher Still murals on the ceiling in the church narthex (foyer) and in the outdoor chapel. What a gift they have been to so many down through the years, and they remain near and dear to our hearts today. But I’m guessing most of you have never seen a mural in Memorial Hall of Jesus on a surf board riding a wave. It was not painted by Christopher Still but by some of the teens that were members of the St. Alfred’s Youth Group and it adorned a wall in their meeting room. The idea of Jesus catching a wave still brings a smile to my face!
After last Saturday’s parish Visioning Day, I feel like we’re all riding a wave of excitement about the future of St. Alfred’s and the amazing things God has in store for us as a parish. Sixty three of us gathered for our work day, an incredible turnout for a parish our size. The energy throughout the day was palpable, and in the end, I think we all were giving thanks for the opportunity to be part of a parish that is ready to get to work welcoming new members, increasing opportunities for learning and fellowship, reaching out to those in need in the wider community in new ways, and developing stronger support systems for our own parishioners during difficult times.
There was also a lot of energy and enthusiasm for developing leadership training programs so that those parishioners who feel called to develop and lead a ministry at St. Alfred’s will have the skills and understanding to effectively guide and direct others in sharing the work of building up God’s kingdom through our various ministries and efforts. It was very clear to me that those who were present last Saturday understood that strong lay leadership not only on the Vestry but throughout the congregation is absolutely crucial to a strong and vibrant parish.
I’ll be meeting with your Vestry, the Long Range Planning Team, and the break-out group facilitators this Tuesday to take a much closer look at the ministries that were proposed, and especially the ones that we all said need to be priorities in the coming year. A summary of the work we did this past Saturday and the discussions we have this coming Tuesday will be published in next week’s Banner for all of us to consider. And if you have thoughts and ideas coming out of last Saturday’s work, I’d love to hear from you, or talk with one of your Vestry members. We are all in this together.
As any experienced surfer knows, the energy of a particular wave only lasts so long. Once the wave has passed, it’s time to paddle out and catch the next wave. The good news for all of us is that our wave maker never runs out of energy. The Holy Spirit is blowing strongly through our parish providing us the momentum and encouragement we need to keep riding the waves. I think our teens from years gone by were on to something – the surfs up at St. Alfred’s – time to ride the wave!
See you in Church.