The gratitude project has given me the opportunity to reflect on many things. One of the things that I have recently noticed, and All Saints Sunday was indicative of this, is that we have moved into the place where we are just now ready for the new rector. I’ve become grateful for the slow and steady progress we have been making and through all of the meetings and communications we have had; all of us have grown together as church. As the work of the Search Committee has progressed, I have realized that there is a purpose in the slow and methodical way we call a new rector. Now that the congregational profile and who we seek as a new rector is getting the final touches, I realize my anxiety has now yielded to a peaceful understanding of the process.
I would like to share something that I’m particularly grateful for, and that is that St. Stephen’s is not only diverse and multi-generational, but we also allow and support each other in all of the stages of life. It is no secret that my father-in-law is in decline, but the support we have been receiving has been beyond belief. Most of the time it is in knowing, though he now sleeps through most of the service, that not a single expression is in evidence of him not belonging among us at church that I find comfort. There is great joy in watching the youth of the congregation be youthful; but there is also solace in the acceptance at the other end of life’s spectrum. Over the years we have seen others decline, and we have embraced their presence among us, just like we embrace our youth. My gratitude for this cannot be measured.
-Mike Harbin, Junior Warden