Grace Shined Through

Weekly Reflection, Friday, November 12

By: David May

We have a practice at our staff meetings of looking back at the previous week’s events to report out on things we accomplished or want to learn from. Which is a good practice, for sure. What we mostly do is celebrate and give thanks. Or maybe that’s just the part I pay attention to!

So, in that spirit, before any more time goes by and we’re all on to the next thing, I want to give thanks and celebrate God’s goodness that gave this past week a special glow. This past weekend was All Saints’ Sunday. The whole weekend – from Friday evening to Sunday evening – was a gift of God’s goodness and grace.

On Friday evening, around 200 of us gathered in the church parking lot for BBQ & Brews. An amazing group of parishioners transformed the space with fire pits, bistro lights, and hay bales and all the rest. We ate good food, shared refreshing drink, and raised a good deal of funds for the Outreach ministries of our parish. All of that was great, wonderful, fulfilling. But what moved me so much was seeing each other, catching up, and embracing friends we hadn’t seen in who knows how long. There was lots of laughing, and I began to feel hopeful that things might start to feel okay again. And grace shined through.

On Saturday, a beautiful couple who was married here last year in an empty church with ten people, renewed their vows of marriage before all their friends and family who couldn’t be there before. The church surrounded this sacred gathering with love, care, and rejoicing. We all shared Eucharist together because this beautiful young couple holds that sacrament as the center of their lives. And grace shined through.

Then on All Saints’ Sunday, we baptized four children at the 9 a.m. service and two at the 11 a.m. service. We sang great hymns, and read the names and gave thanks to those we have loved and lost entrusting them into the arms of God’s mercy. And grace shined through.

On that beautiful Sunday evening, Kilpy Singer (our wonderful new Director of Youth Ministries) freshly off the road from taking a couple kids to the PYM weekend at Shrine Mont, gathered with 35 of our young people. There were parent volunteers there to help start a bonfire. The kids played ‘capture the flag’ in that same back parking lot where BBQ & Brews had been held two nights prior. And grace shined through.

Grace changes us. Which is another way of saying God changes us. Or tries to. Our part in trying, I think, is to be attentive – to pay attention. I want to pay attention to all the gifts from God we received last weekend. And be changed, more and more. And give thanks.

Thank you, God, for the gift of this life we share here, and for grace, that changes us.