Letter from the Rector and Senior Warden

Dear St. Mary’s Family,

Some letters are harder to write than others. This is one of them. Through a string of events that we would never have anticipated, my husband Buck has been offered a position doing mission and outreach work for the Episcopal Church in Colorado. This has been a difficult decision for us. After much prayer and discernment, he has accepted, and we will move to Denver.

I have been captivated by you and by this place since I first came to St. Mary’s almost three years ago. You have welcomed me into your lives, and I have been humbled by your confidence in me in times of joy and sorrow and everyday life. I have been amazed by your willingness to discern where God is calling St. Mary’s and the energy and enthusiasm with which you are embracing the ensuing possibilities. I am inspired by your faithfulness.

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The Welcoming Spirit of St. Mary’s

A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 15, 2017

By: Patsy Simril

Thankfulness is what I feel about St. Mary’s. As newcomers, we would like to thank the clergy, staff, and congregation for the warm welcome we have received. We came from an Episcopal church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which pulled us in and showed us the value and joy in participating in our church community. It was one of the greatest blessings we had in our former home. Less than two years ago when we transferred to St. Mary’s, you pulled us in and put us to work. Consequently, we are feeling welcomed and appreciated in our new church home. Keep doing this. You are good at it and it is powerful!

A welcoming spirit is one of the most attractive attributes anyone or any church can have. We all know the insecurity of being “new,” and we remember the names of those who include and encourage us, whether it is at school, work, or at church. It is the foundation of trust, and I believe that love does not grow without it. Already, we feel safe here.

St. Mary’s has a bright, open, positive feel to it, and it is not just because of your beautiful sanctuary.  The people I meet (please wear your nametag) seem relaxed and happy in their faith. This happy faith spills over in their generosity of time, talent, and treasure, all of which contribute to this great community of faith. Each is important and vital to the health of our church. The more time I spend with God in His community, the more I want to use whatever talents I have to enrich our community. I can’t help but feel thankful to have a loving place to worship, create friendships, and strengthen my faith. All this leads my heart to want to share my treasures.

Geoff, Henry, and I look forward to getting to know all of you better as we continue our spiritual journey at St. Mary’s.

The Value of St. Mary’s

A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 1, 2017

By: Doug Pera

The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” Albert Einstein

I have the honor of sharing a few thoughts on why St Mary’s holds such a special place in my life and the life of my family. As I was considering church options a few years ago, I landed at St. Mary’s due the influence and suggestion of my wife, Jane. It did not take me long to determine that St Mary’s was a good fit for me and what I needed from a church family. The warm and welcoming environment was immediately evident and my comfort within the church continued to grow as I met more parishioners, became more involved, and was able to spend time with the leadership of the church.

Additionally, I felt there was a feeling of acceptance and understanding of various points of view. I knew then, and it is only more relevant now, the ability to openly discuss one’s views in a loving environment is often missing in today’s institutions. At St. Mary’s I feel that I can have a view and while not everyone agrees with it, there is a respect and openness to hearing a different viewpoint.

While all the characteristics mentioned above still apply, I have also developed an appreciation for the value that St. Mary’s provides to my family. I feel that I have grown in my relationship with God but also have seen my family’s growth as well. Jane, Gray, and Lucie have all invested time and energy into their relationship with St. Mary’s, and have benefited in ways too many to explain. The children’s program has created a buzz and excitement that is palpable when you walk in on Sundays. Jane has been incredibly impactful in so many areas of the church but she would tell you that she has been the beneficiary of her activities at St Mary’s.

The value of St. Mary’s to me and my family has been too great to measure in terms of monetary value. However, I understand the need to do everything that I can to help by investing my time, talent, and treasure to ensure the continued growth of programs and energetic staff, and maintain the fantastic physical facility that we all enjoy. We need your help during this pledge season.