A Welcoming Light

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, February 24, 2019

By: Eleanor Wellford

This was nowhere on my radar screen! But like the recent weather forecasts, my radar screen hasn’t been particularly accurate. Who knew that I would be called back to serve at St. Mary’s at such an exciting time in her life?

When David’s call to be the next Rector of St. Mary’s was announced last spring, I remember feeling such joy for him and for this parish. I couldn’t wait to return to St. Mary’s as a parishioner and witness for myself how his energy, vision, and healing spirit would transform St. Mary’s future. Bob’s steady, pastoral presence has already been helping to do that; and now I can’t wait to join them in shaping that future.

Over the past three and half years, I have tried to find a new church “home”; but it didn’t happen. It’s not that there aren’t enough Episcopal churches in Richmond, but that there aren’t enough with the spirit of sharing, care, and love that had nurtured me for so long here. In ways of which you might not even be aware, you all formed me as the priest I have become; and I will always be grateful for that.

I, too, am grateful for the sendoff in June 2015 that honored and blessed my work here. I hope I’m not that proverbial penny that keeps showing up! If I am, just dust me off and put me in the collection plate! But please don’t let that be the only thing you put in there!

In many ways, I feel as if I’m coming home again. Everything looks the same, but many things have changed so that it doesn’t feel quite the same. It feels better. I’ve noticed that people of all ages want to be here. They want to worship together, break bread together, and be engaged in all areas of the life of this parish – and with gratitude for how St. Mary’s is making a difference in their lives. The “home” that I am coming back to is vibrant in ways I have not seen here before. There is light everywhere I look – the light of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for your welcoming light in calling me back home!

No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:15-16)