Pastoral Letter: November 09, 2021

November 9, 2021

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the generous gift of time you just gave me!  I am back at home and church following a wonderful pre-Sabbatical month away.  I am deeply grateful for this time to step away from daily ministry demands these past years!  My deepest gratitude to Pastor Carl Walker, Chaplain Denise Delaney, Deacon Mike Williams and our terrific team of servant leaders who all stepped up in this time.

Now that I am back, I ask you to come back to us!  Livestream, archived YouTube weekly video of our Vail Chapel Sunday worship, in-person and indoors at the Vail and Edwards Chapels and a new weekly, mask less outdoor Sunday worship we’ll be exploring shortly….we miss you and need you at Sunday church now more than ever, and perhaps you need us too!  Our 2022 Pledge Drive and 2022 Ministry Theme, Rebuilding Together, accurately captures my greatest prayer for all of us.  Sunday church is a habit, and I invite you to re-invest in our Sunday worship weekly throughout the winter.  We’ll follow all the now familiar county-wide and Episcopal safety protocols as the Coronavirus pandemic remains unpredictable in its ability to disrupt our plans.  The moment we can safely gather without those protocols in place, we’ll remove them immediately.  Three brief items from me to close, and thank you again for supporting your clergy with such care!

  1. I am dropping off a physical 2022 pledge card to our office this week.  It is my honor to support a church family like ours with my pledge.  May I ask you to submit a pledge also?  Of course, we need your ongoing financial support as we rebuild our staff, offerings and pastoral support in 2022.  The needs are enormous, and we all appreciate your pledge of yourselves, your prayers and your financial support in any amount.
  2. My winter week will look like this:  Mondays with staff, leaders, planning and parish operational matters.  Tuesdays and Thursdays with you as you need or wish to get together.  Wednesdays and Sunday morning are teaching days, Friday is clergy sabbath day off, and Saturday will serve as a swing day or “clean up the week” day among other items.  We retain a very effective rotating “Pastor On-Call” weekly strategy to best serve you:  Deacon Mike, Chaplain Denise and I will rotate weekly being your on-call pastor on our church social media and office phone messages prominently, so you always have an easy way to find support when you need us.  This method is a healthy and effective way to best serve your needs with our resources wisely.
  3. This Wednesday and Sunday we resume our weekly adult studies for the winter.  Part-bible study, part-prayerful pastoral support group, part-warm fellowship and all geeky socially awkward teacher!  All will feature Zoom links for those wishing to join us virtually, so please email Donna Jacobs or me for those links!  Come join us!  Here they are:
    1. WEDNESDAY 8:00 AM MEN’S BITE BIBLE STUDY on Zoom.  A one-hour teaching using the upcoming Sunday scripture readings for the men of Transfiguration.  They need it.  I sure do too!
    2. WEDNESDAY 10:00 AM MORNING HYBRID STUDY on Zoom and upstairs at the Edwards Chapel library.
    3. WEDNESDAY 6:30 PM EVENING STUDY on Zoom.  We are currently studying the letters of Saint Paul and all are welcome!
    4. SUNDAY MORNING ABOUT 11:30 AM HYBRID METAMORPHOSIS STUDY on Zoom and upstairs at the Edwards Chapel library.  We are just beginning a brand-new study of the Book of Acts, a marvelous biblical book with which to begin any adult study experience!

I return ready to do my part to help rebuild our congregation, community and wider Body of Christ from these past two years.  You remain in my prayers for protection, support, nurture and blessing!

Warmly in the Lord,

Father Brooks Keith, Rector

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