Rotating off Vestry

A Weekly Reflection, Sunday, January 28, 2018

By: Bruin Richardson, Class of 2018 Vestry member

Wow, what a difference three years makes!

Just over three years ago I was asked to serve on the Vestry of a country church that hadn’t had a new Rector in about 30 years. Roughly six months into my first year on the Vestry, John announced he would be retiring at the end of the year. Of course, everyone wondered what that would mean for the church. How would we react to change? We all knew John wouldn’t be here forever, and certainly the church had changed in the past as we grew and as New St. Mary’s and other buildings were built, but 30 years with the same Rector is a long time.

As we entered the discernment process it was truly wonderful to see St. Mary’s, I think, at its best.  We didn’t agree about everything, we came at the questions of where we had been and where we were going from different perspectives. But we listened. We listened to each other and we listened for God to help us to discern where He was calling us. And we learned. We learned that St. Mary’s is far bigger than one person, whoever that is, and that collectively we can do this change stuff — in fact we can do it well.

Of course, that’s a good thing as we embark on another period of change. But as we come together again to select a new person to lead us into the future, I believe there is much less apprehension of what changes may lie ahead. We’ve listened and learned from each other. We know where we’ve been and we know where we want to go. As I now leave the Vestry, I feel confident in the future and thankful for the past. We will forge ahead bravely, with God’s help.