Notes from the Vicar of Grace

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The Rev. Bill Harper

Hey All.

A friend sent me an email this week, linking me to website/blog and asking me if I knew the photographer behind the work.  After all, my friend pointed out, she lives on "Your Island."  Well, yes, I said in reply-I do know her.  I see her nearly every Sunday morning.  Not only does she live on "my" Island, but she goes to "our" church.

I do see her each week, as many others do.  Diane is an Islander, and is a "regular" part of the Grace community.  She is also a photographer whose work is tender, heartfelt and provides a window to something beautiful and graceful.  And the writing that accompanies her art is equally inspiring. She writes almost every day. 

Tricia is also part of the Grace family, and a photographer who has this remarkable gift for capturing and preserving the life of children and families.  As an artist, she gifts families not with memories but with photographic icons reflecting the souls of children and parents.  Her skill and gift come from her experience as a mother.  She is, after all, "baby" Tobin's mom, and we prayed for him, and his  family, for many months.

And then there's Jen.  I happily remember the day she and Haig married, and feeling the privilege of helping that happen.  And so many years later, I see her children growing and thriving here at Grace.  In those same years Jen has also flourished as an artist and illustrator, and when you see both the whimsy and color in her work you'll find yourself happier and in some state of glad wonder.  What a gift to be given!

Oh, and how I can't forget my "old friend" Tom.  We went to high school together (how funny!)-and then so many years later I meet him again at Grace.   He was an inspired and admired student body president when we were in school.  Today his art hangs on the walls of Grace, and in my house.  I stare at his photographs and see the light and trees, rock and earth, the people-and I see all of it through the sacred lens Tom uses.

And finally (for now), I can hear Kelly's voice providing the soundtrack to all of this.  We all heard him last Sunday.  "Wake up, Lazarus" he sang, I heard my own voice echoing.  Where did Kelly find the words for that song?  How did he capture the truth of that story?  And with generosity and quiet humility he shares it with us. How lucky we are.  Or is it Grace?

Each of the links above and below will allow you to see (and hear) these gifted ones.  And of course there are so many such gifts at Grace.  Poets, writers, artists, lovers, doers.  As we gather each Sunday, look around the room and wonder-consider taking off your shoes because the gifts around us are so sacred, and together we stand on holy ground.  Right under our noses, and through every single one of us, some Spirit moves and shapes us.  Enjoy it.  Be open to it.  Get to know it.  See and know each other-and thereby see the image of God.






PS Still time to pledge!  And thanks.  Very much.

Bill's Signature

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