Weekly Reflection, Sunday, July 22, 2018
By: David May
Bishop Frank Gray, former Assistant Bishop, said that we all have ‘foundation stones’ that inform how we understand key theological concepts like creation, sin, reconciliation, and grace, among others. He meant that we all have experiences – many from very early on in our lives – that inform our understanding of God’s work in the world and within each of our lives. For example, one of my ‘foundation stones’ for creation is an experience of being at the beach. What speaks to me is the sound of the waves crashing, the seagulls crying, little crabs scurrying around nearby, and joy and wonder in all of God’s works.
One of my ‘foundation stones’ for sin is ‘the first day of school’. Those first years of grade school always felt like an existential crisis – though I certainly didn’t call it that! I absolutely dreaded ‘the first day of school’. Summer was over. We all had to wear scratchy, stiff new clothes. But mostly, it was being tossed into a group where I had no idea who anyone was or where I fit in or even if I did. But along with that are ‘foundation stones’ of grace where I remember someone saying my shoes were cool (does anyone remember PF Flyers?!), or some other kindness that was manna in the wilderness.
Which all leads me to want to say how very grateful to God I am for you, each of you, and for new ‘foundation stones’ of grace given in the welcome you’ve offered to me and to my wife Emmy. I want to say thank you, truly, from my heart. So many have offered such a warm welcome. I am so grateful for Andrew and Bob, for Ashley and Ryan and Elizabeth and Mike and Duke and Deedi and Amelia and Paul and Matt and Gersain; for Tracey and Russell and our amazing vestry members, for members of our search committee, for all those who have written letters and emails of welcome, for all those who’ve popped in to shake my hand or hug my neck, for all of those who made special preparations for ice cream sundaes, for the breathtaking flower arrangement, for special musical offerings, and for just coming to church last Sunday to say welcome. Thank God for you, for each of you, new ‘foundation stones’ of grace.