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Priest's Letter for the January 2019 issue of our newsletter:

Dear friends,

The recent visit by Bishop John Taylor, with the blessing of the front garden, and the festivities of Christmas night and Christmas day were the recent highlights of our life together here at Christ Church. You will find in this newsletter a detailed report of the Bishop's visit. But of no minor importance has been the parish meeting at the beginning of December, which gave me and many others a renewed sense of community and purpose.

But this does not come without a price. As I keep saying to the Vestry, for the next several months we will be running uphill. We will create by the end of January three new task forces focused on: the Organic Garden at the back of our property; the expansion of our Outreach to the poor and homeless; the creation of the Center for retreats and workshops. Each of you is invited to reflect about which area are you called to work for.

Even if you do not feel called to any specific area, you can still help. There are at least four ways, besides your doing your best with donations, in which your help will be very much appreciated in 2019:

1. We will have a work party about once a month, to clean up a portion of the property as well as to do small maintenance work. It will be always on a Saturday and it will include lunch. The first of such dates is January 26th.

2. We will work toward a schedule for keeping the campus open most of the week, and you will be invited to offer 3 to 4 hours of your time weekly as a welcoming presence for visitors to the parish and the Center. We might be able to create a small gift shop which will need to be staffed as well.

3. Right now, you can offer one to two hours a month for helping with the pantry operations (please talk to Ed Copeland about this).

4. We are now in business for renting out our property for weddings and other events. Brochures will soon be ready for you to take everywhere. Your friends and connections will be a very important source of rentals, besides our digital marketing.

On January 18th and 19th, with conclusion in the morning of Sunday January 20th, we will hold our second retreat on our campus, led by Jana Milhon-Martin, entitled "Love as Flow - Finding Our True Ground". This is an example of the kind of activities that the Center will be running more regularly. Please consider participating and inviting your friends. More info on our website.

At the end of January, we will renew one third of the Vestry. Nominations are open and anybody can be nominated. Talk to me or to the senior warden Cash Sutton if you are interested in being on the ballot or if you want to nominate somebody else. The open positions are five, because the Vestry has not filled one position left open by a resignation last year. Many thanks to Mary Roberts, Ashanti Smalls, and Dave Weddle who have served their three-year full terms. Jan Aldrich was nominated by the Vestry to fulfill a vacant term and so, according to the rules and the practice of the parish, she can stand for election for a full term. The others need to take a break of at least one year. Being part of the Vestry does mean to offer a good portion of one's time, which, however, is being asked more and more of a much larger number of parishioners. Specifically, Vestry members share the responsibility of leadership with the priest and make important decisions, especially regarding finances.

"There is so much happening!!" (Quoting our friend Jana). Be part of it.


Fr. Gianluigi

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