Finding the Words

“Let your words become the gift,
that is shared with others!”

It seems like yesterday that I received a text from Father John informing me of his plans to retire at the beginning of this month.  As Senior Warden (an intimidating title), or what others would call the Vestry Chair, I suddenly became the “Ecclesiastical Leader” of the church.  Simply put, it becomes my responsibility to assure that the day to day functions of the church continue while we search for a new rector.  Fortunately I am surrounded by a committed congregation, staff, vestry, and substitute clergy who have all shared a simple phrase, “Let me know how I can help!”.  Their words were a gift, shared with me.

Father John’s office, which often resembled that of a college professor, sits empty now and awaits a new occupant.  I spent some time there late Tuesday afternoon just taking everything in, and then spent some additional time in the sanctuary.  While sitting there, it was the positive encouraging words of Father John and our Deacon Midge that kept bouncing around in my mind.  Both had shared their belief in my ability to take on this new responsibility, but always in a manner that made me smile or laugh.  Their words were a gift, shared with me.

On Wednesday morning our Parish Secretary sent me an email providing requested information and related updates.  I felt good about everything until I got to the last line, “Rick, I will need the small message from you to include in the e-blast being sent out tomorrow.”  This was something that had traditionally been written by Father John, and now it fell to me.  The message normally reflects one of the lessons or the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday.   Within the readings I found the following, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.”  As I sat down to write the words came easily, and my Thursday message, shared with my Church family, is now shared with you.

As we emerge from this nightmare of a year and move forward, let’s be bolstered by the knowledge that our words and actions can enhance the lives of others.  Let’s use this information to create a more positive workplace and home environment, to facilitate collaboration and improve our interpersonal relationships.  Let our commentary sow the seeds of possibility, opportunity and hope. Let our remarks be the source of cheerful enthusiasm, serene warmth, and gratitude. Let our words be the gift, we share with others.

Embrace the Challenge!