Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord
shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
As we head into our Annual Meeting on Sunday, this passage from the prophet Isaiah, appointed for Sunday, is fitting. Isaiah offers words of encouragement, good news, reminding us that God is always present, never grows weary of loving our humanity, even as we struggle in our lives, in our communities and in our faith. The past year has been filled with joys and challenges at Trinity as we have moved into a post-pandemic season. Reading all the reports contained in the Annual Report I am struck by the abundant new life, the renewed activities and fellowship here in our community.
At the same time we have lost many beloved friends and our community is both changed by their absence and strengthened by our memories of their ministry presence and the witness of faith they leave with us.
A church is always a place of change and loss and transformation, by God’s grace. We care for one another and we respond as Christ’s faithful to the world around us. Isaiah rightly notes that sometimes we are weary from all the deaths, the changes, the challenges of declining giving and participation, the need for new leaders to be raised up for beloved ministries, and the struggles beyond our walls. Some of us are weary, some are energized. Some are disappointed about the vestry’s decision not to move forward with a new pipe organ commission. Some are rejoicing for new traditions that bring us together like the wonderful Gala and Epiphany dinner. Our life together includes it all! When we worship together, pray together, offer grace and forgiveness to one another, express gratitude for all the love and care each of you offer by your talents and passions, love one another as the beloved children of God we are, God will renew our strength and our hope to do it again another day, another year, and into the future.
So let us gather with joy and hope on Sunday as we gather at God’s table to eat the Bread of Life, and as we elect new leaders, pass our budget, thank one another. And may we be renewed to walk forward together in Christ’s light and love in 2024!
With gratitude and love for each of you,