An Epiphany message from Fr. Martin

Dear Friends,

As your pastor, my heart is filled with gratitude for this congregation – for all the people of St. Andrew’s and for those who visit (some to stay and some to be blessed as they journey on). Our Christmas services, as you can see with the photos in the January issue of The Tartan (in color online!), were wonderful. Many people worked faithfully and patiently to draw these services and our ministries together.

Our stewardship is generous. Our welcoming is warm and sincere. And we are striving to be open with one another and to new opportunities. Not that we are perfect, but we are growing and healing and God is sanding off our rough edges.

I am mindful, especially as we begin a new year, that we live in the midst of so much change. In the world around us, technology, climate change, and social movements accelerate more and more. (I am reading Thomas Friedman’s new book Thank You for Being Late, which discusses such accelerations.) Issues arise that we may not have recognized before. Relationships develop, are challenged, and by the grace of God are healed. Our own bodies change (whether we like it or not).

Our thankfulness for our many blessings as a congregation and in our own lives should not excuse us from recognizing such changes. Instead, our gratitude and our faith in God can strengthen us to engage our changing world – serving as a strong foundation and helping us to not be afraid.

I pray that in this New Year we will be open to God’s call to us as persons and as a parish to serve God’s people and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are not a large parish, but we are strong in faith and in blessings. We begin this Epiphany season hearing the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,…I have given you as a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out … from prison those who sit in darkness.” (Isa. 42:6f)

Let us turn to God with thanksgiving, and be ready to go and serve where God leads.