“O come, o come, Emmanuel,” “Let all mortal flesh keep silence,” “Humbly I adore thee, verity unseen.” Since I was a child, my favorite hymns have been the solemn ones. My family sometimes tease me about my fondness for “dirges,” but there’s just something about this music that speaks to me. It’s maybe not a surprise, then, that Advent has always been my favorite season of the church year. In the midst of the relentless gaity of the commercial Christmas season, I like the reminder that the big events in life, no matter how much joy they may bring us, are always accompanied by something else – uncertainty, fear of change, sorrow for what is passing away. The position of solemn waiting, of anticipation tinged with fear and awe, is precious in the midst of our hectic lives, and I appreciate the opportunity to sink into it for a few hours on Sunday morning. Given all of this, it’s probably fitting that I am helping to lead our Rector search committee. “Solemn waiting” seems like a good description of the search process. Our excitement at the future in store for our community is necessarily colored with sadness for our loss and with anxiety for all that we can’t know. We are impatient. I am taking the opportunity of Advent to remind myself that there is holiness in waiting, and that it’s OK to feel anxiety in a time of change. We can be impatient together in this season of Advent, and we can celebrate with our anxieties in the midst of Christmas joy, because they are part of our care for each other and for the life of our parish.
On a more practical note, the Rector search committee is finalizing our profiles based on feedback from the Diocese, and we will soon begin “taking names.” We can talk more about how the process will unfold in a future column – for now, just know that the process continues and we will hopefully begin interviews early in the new year. Please keep the committee in your prayers as we work, and wait, this Advent season.
Search Committee Co-Chair