Dear Friends,

I write this on Thanksgiving Eve, a damp dreary day, but one filled with the expectation of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal, even one that will look different from the one we might have imagined for ourselves at the start of this year.

On Tuesday, I stopped by a colleague’s house to sign checks. We have closed our diocesan offices during this current stay-at-home advisory. One of the bright spots during the first five months when we were working from home, and now during this time, is visiting my co-worker, sitting on her porch while I sign checks, and sometimes spending time with her five-year-old daughter. This week, my five-year-old friend brought me a leaf. She and her parents were making a gratitude wreath, and she invited me to write what I was thankful for on the leaf. I have to confess it brought me up short. I’ve spent too much time focusing on what’s been lost, what disappointments have come our way, my feelings of anger and frustration. To use Andrew’s words from the Second Sunday of Advent, it was time to pause and pivot. And while I don’t need to deny the very real feelings this year has brought forth, I can also intentionally look for where grace and gratitude abound.

Grace and gratitude are hallmarks of All Saints’. Laughing with each other and telling stories on Sparkling Sundays; sharing prayers and thanksgivings on Facebook; checking in with phone calls and emails; and continuing to serve our neighbors each and every Tuesday in creative, safe ways. I am so grateful for this community and who we are for each other, our city, and our world.

These past nine months have been hard and scary. And as we continue confronting a virus that keeps us physically apart, I am buoyed by the connection we have with one another and that I so often witness in beautiful ways. Happy Thanksgiving weekend, All Saints’.

All my best,