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

Hey All.


Yes, Just Plain Busy . . .

Yes indeed.  It's been a remarkable  2 weeks at Grace.  Sometimes there is a bit of a lull after Easter--a chance to come up for air, to enjoy something of the new life of Easter.  That hasn't been quite the case these last couple of weeks.  As I think most of us know, Grace has made the commitment to expand our staff and hire an ordained associate to help support and grow our ministries of pastoral care, outreach and faith formation.  It is, of course, a huge and exciting step for us as a community--one that we have been working toward for the last 3 years.  And, well, the amazing thing that happened this past week is that we interviewed 4 gifted individuals on Wednesday and Thursday.  Each applicant spent time meeting staff, touring Grace, and then interviewing with me and a great group of Grace folk put together by Dallas Young and Patty Malloy. 

After the interviews I sat, sort of quietly stunned, thinking about the possibility and creativity in front of us. I don't yet know who we will call to share this life of Grace. More conversations will happen, and after receiving a recommendation from the interviewing group I will bring a recommendation to the Bishop's Committee. We plan to decide within the next few weeks--and we imagine that this as yet unknown new member of our Grace family will be welcomed and celebrated late this Summer. Yet, right now, this week, I'm dreaming about new energy, new ideas, a new voice in our community. I can see, in a very concrete way, why the time is so rich and ripe for this step. Most of all, sharing the Grace story with each of these folk reminded me--again and again--that this is a vital, real community we share, and people want to share this community with us. To listen to newly ordained clergy tell me about their hope to work with us is humbling and inspiring.

And More . . .

And so then on Saturday last week some 40-50 Gracies visited St. Mark's Cathedral to celebrate with Karen Haig as she was ordained. It was so good to see the happiness on Karen's face, and I was so glad to feel our support for her. And I was particularly delighted (even proud) to see so many of us from Grace taking leadership roles in the liturgy. Of course hearing Ann Strickland and Holly White play and sing Ann's original compositions in that giant cathedral was just amazing. Really.

Oh, And Even More, More . . .

Sunday we celebrated another Grace Day by baptizing two babies and again marking Karen's ordination. Oh, and the sun was shining--and our music was amazing. It was quite a day. Really. And then just last night--yes, Tuesday night--Grace was transformed again as music, loud and lovely and oh so Rock n Roll--bounced off the wood and glass to raise money for Olson Labs and pediatric tumor research. Our couple of local, high school bands were great, and then the headliner, Lloyds Garage--well, if you were there, you know. If you missed it, put to your ear up to the concrete the next time you're in the building. The echoes are still there.

It has been quite a couple of weeks in my hometown. I'm glad! Real life happens here, in just so many ways. 

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