It's going to be a busy summer!

I have found two popular misconceptions in my priesthood. My favorite one is that clergy only work on Sundays. My guess is that many clergy wish that were the case, but we all know better. The second misconception is that the summer is our slow season. While most of us who are able to take vacation time usually do so in the summer, that does not mean that the church closes down in the summer. In fact, the summer is the prime season for organizing the church year and hosting a large number of planning meetings – from worship, to education, to stewardship, to fundraising. The only way to have a thriving program year is to spend some extensive time in the summer planning and preparing for that program year.

This summer should be no exception. As I am writing this letter, the Vestry has just finished its Vestry Retreat, doing our first major Mutual Ministry Review. I am grateful to those of you who participated in the survey, and I am especially grateful to our Vestry who spent the whole day listening intently, discerning prayerfully, and dreaming creatively to help us become a healthier parish. The surveys showed us that there are many things going very well at St. Margaret’s. There is much to celebrate in our work together! The surveys also gave us much food for thought: how we might find sharper focus in our work; how we might better define and communicate roles, power, and decision-making processes; and how we might be better disciples of the work Christ has called us to do in our community. I am not going to be more specific, as the work of the retreat is so fresh and needs some more thought and prioritizing, but what I will say is two-fold. One, the summer and fall will prove to be busy for the Vestry as we plan and pray for the future. And two, as we do that work of helping St. Margaret’s become healthier, we can all expect some changes in behavior and activity.

I ask your prayers for our Vestry and our entire membership as we approach this summer of discernment and planning. I ask your patience as we map out the healthiest and most joyful way forward. And I ask your support as we likely try on new ways of being together. I know that change is one of the hardest things we do. Probably the complaint I get the most is about change. But as most of you have seen over these last three to four years, much of that change has been life-giving and affirming. So trust your Vestry. Trust one another. And trust the movement of the Holy Spirit. God is among us, inspiring us to be a healthy, happy, whole parish. Trust in the Lord and in one another – and great things will happen.

Christ’s Peace,

The Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly