One of our favorite writers is Marilyn Robinson, a Christian who writes both fiction and non-fiction, with little about sin or damnation but a lot about forgiveness and tolerance and kindness. She portrays a world filled with divine grace even in the worst of circumstances. In her non-fiction collection, When I Was a Child I Read Books,” in an essay called “Imagination and Community”, she writes, “I would say, for the moment, that community, at least community larger than the immediate family, consists very largely of imaginative love for people we do not know or whom we know very slightly…. The great truth that is too often forgotten is that it is in the nature of people to do good to one another.” Don’t you think that describes our congregation?
Reflecting on our summer journey in ministry with you, many thoughts come to mind and one is this gift of imaginative love. Robinson’s conviction that the capacity to make imaginative connections with other people, familiar and not so familiar, is the basis of community. We have seen this gift in evidence here over and over, and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving for God’s grace in providing the spirit-filled support that we have felt all summer. In particular, we are so thankful for the rich conversations each Sunday and for all of the angels who hovered behind the scenes.We felt so fortunate to be able to work with a talented staff & congregation:
- Sarah, who, with all her musical talent, was also able to think about details and make appropriate suggestions;
- Norma who held everything together and made our time fun and easy, and who broke in a new sexton with ease;
- Randy — have you met him yet? Always smiling, so pleasant to be with, so careful in his work, giving this building great love and attention. Originally from Dominican Republic, he loves baseball!
- And many others:
- the 30 folks who made our Vacation Bible School a huge success with their enthusiasm and adventuresome spirit;
- the Deacons who so lovingly, considerately, consistently provided for so many people both within our congregation and in our community;
- the Worship committee who, in their attention to detail, provided outstanding support to these old and often rusty pastors;
- the transition team who provided feedback, support, and ideas;
- the choir members who were so willing to step forward and provide musical leadership in special services of worship;
- those of you not named here but who were always available, to share thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.
- for the prayers of those who were taking much needed time away.
- and of course for Rev. Jen and the session for inviting us into leadership and trusting us to provide loving support and spiritual sustenance in her absence
We hope that this summer season has refreshed your gift of imaginative love. Perhaps it has been what some would call a ‘holy pause’when you have given yourself some space, some time, and some rest, with a change of scene or routine, a change of pace, perhaps a time to slow down. Our prayer is that we will all begin this month of September renewed and re-energized and ready for the many things we have to look forward to:
• OutdoorWorship • the beginning of Sunday School • the PWFall Gathering • Comedy Night • Boonton Day • and of course, Rev. Jen’s return with all of her enthusiasm for ministry, her spiritual
sensitivity, her sense of humor, her warm and inclusive love for God, Jesus Christ, and this congregation, and her ability to operate the outdoor water faucet!!!
Honored to be serving
in ministry with you.
♥ Lorrie and Sherm Skinner