Last week, I flew to both New York City and Atlanta for two different family visits. On all four flights, there were moments of looking out the airplane window from high above the earth.
Leadership gurus often talk about the advantages of finding the 30,000-foot perspective on our lives. From high up, you can see patterns and progress that are difficult to observe from close range. You can see further along the horizon, you can look way back on where you’ve been.
When I observe the last five years at St. Paul’s from 30,000-feet, I see a number of successes that are easy to overlook or take for granted. Our building is significantly improved and more eco-friendly, our communications are stronger and extend much further beyond our doors, our livestream and online sermons are attended by an average of 18 households a week - sometimes as many as 80, and our doors open both ways - inviting more people to more kinds of opportunities. These are very important landmarks of faithfulness to our call as Christians.
This 30,000-foot perspective brings me great consolation, especially as I, like you, grieve for friends who are no longer with us at worship. I miss Karin, Barbi, Debbie, Tammy, John, Belinda, Carri, and Sue, just to name most of those who have left us in the last few months. Attendance has dropped and I suspect, like me, that concerns and saddens you. Looking backwards, way back, we've been here before. We'll be okay.
As we enter the next chapter of life together, I’m eager to see us widen our invitation, develop new programs, and deepen our relationships and sense of belonging. God has been so faithful to bring just the right people for each season. I have no doubt that the same will be true in the weeks and years ahead. As the scriptures remind us: neither height, nor depth, nor anything under heaven can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38). As we continue to follow, God's love continues to bless and uphold us!
-- Pastor Rebecca
Most of the blog articles are written by our Rector, The Rev. Rebecca Ragland