Weekly Reflection, Sunday, June 16, 2019
By: Eleanor Wellford
One of the questions that I’ve been asked a lot recently has been: “How do you like being back at St. Mary’s?” My first answer is always about how much I love being back; but then I hear myself following up with: “In many ways, it feels as if I never left.”
How could that be since I was gone for almost four years, which is a long enough time for all sorts of things to have happened – and they did. Leadership changed; most of all the staff whom I knew so well have left; new people in new positions are here; and while there are plenty of faces which I still recognize in the congregation, there are lots of new faces, too.
So, why do those four years seem as if they never happened? I believe the answer is that the St. Mary’s that I left is the St. Mary’s that I returned to, only better. There’s excitement all around me – which I think is what I really mean by “only better.” I can hear it and see it in all the new forms of communication. Staff members are passionate about their work and along with the clergy are raising up new volunteers to work side-by-side with experienced ones. And what’s most exciting is the general “buzz” in the community that goes something like: “Have you heard what’s happening now at St. Mary’s?”
What’s going on now didn’t just happen overnight. I appreciate the four years of discernment and hard work that went into transforming St. Mary’s into the community to which I returned.
The fact that I feel as if I never left is a testament to the same Spirit that has always resided at St. Mary’s. It’s alive and well and finding new places to energize our life together. Thanks be to God!