Last weekend, the Clergy, Parish Council, and all who wanted to participate had the joy and privilege of visiting with Bishop John. It was a very cold night with the big Christmas Parade happening but we had a very warm and valuable time of conversation and connecting. Bishop John led us through a time to look back at St. Thomas before the pandemic, explore what happened during the pandemic, and invited us to notice and name what is happening now. He was very encouraged that we persevered through some very tumultuous times and have landed in a solid place to move forward with our hopes and dreams at St. Thomas and beyond our walls to Chilliwack.
On Sunday Morning, Bishop John thanked the clergy, wardens, and volunteers for their steadfast work and spiritual care at St. Thomas. He visited with as many people as he could, preached a heart-felt message inviting us to abide in God, and presided the Eucharist.
Bishop John’s presence was timely for our community as we received the message that Father Allen is moving to Victoria where both he and his wife, Rev. Denise, have been offered full-time jobs as rectors. We are very happy for them at this beautiful opportunity, yet our hearts are saddened as we let him go after his years of love and service here at St. Thomas. Bishop John reassured us that we will be led and cared for well.
At the meetings Bishop John heard that “the light is back in our eyes” after what we hope is the worst of the pandemic, financial, and other challenges. More information about the highlights over the past year and hopes for the future will be coming soon!
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace upon grace,