" H e y   A l l "
           Notes from the Vicar of Grace
              inclusion service discovery gratitude
The Rev. Bill Harper

Hey All.

I went to church on Sunday morning.

That might not seem unusual, but it was.  I went with Blake, and got to sit with him in a quiet corner by the exit door.  We came in late, were warmly greeted and handed a bulletin, we sat down in a back row, and settled in for a Sunday morning at Grace.  It was, for me, a remarkably important experience.  To be here with my oldest son was rich enough.  I'm certainly aware that such moments are rare, and may be more so in the nearing future.  I could feel him sing next to me (he has a good voice!); we sat and stood together; he moved around and exchanged the Peace with others; he laughed during the (very fine) sermon that his Dad was not preaching.  And he was seen, and loved, by many.  When Charlie and Calder waved at him, and called his name, I felt so glad to be a part of this community where we connect generations and families.

And I was seen too, and could see others.  I watched children move through and find their families.  I could see our community from an angle and perspective I so rarely get.  I was glad to be in church, and of church.  This is a good place to be on a Sunday morning.  Really good.  I don't why that meant so much to me, but it did.

I also went to church on Sunday afternoon.  I sat in the sanctuary with a group of parents and we talked about the tender work of nurturing faith in our kids.  In our conversation I said that faith is like imagination--it can never be taught and it's nearly impossible to "pass on."  We can teach values, or pass on tradition, but faith, like imagination, is "in" us already.  It needs affirmation and nurture.  And that's what I experienced on Sunday morning.  I think my children have known that here, too.

Grace indeed is a community of affirmation and nurture.  I sometimes marvel at how hungry we are for such things.  Without being "perfect" (why would we be?), Grace manages to shape faith for so many of us.  And the key to having that happen is, in some ways, "just showing up."  That's all I did on Sunday.  I simply stepped through the door, found my place, found myself, and found God around me and through me.  It was simple, and real. Thank you, all, for being here with me.

                                        Bill's Signature
BTW: As we move through this season of both frenzy and hope, let Grace be a place of renewal for you.  There are so many ways to connect in the month ahead.  Just show up and see.

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