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From the Associate Vicar: My Annual Report

From the Associate Vicar: My Annual Report
Published on Thu, 4 Feb 2021 18:00
From The... - Letters to the Congregation

Dear One's of St. C's, 

Below you will find my reflection on 2020.  I think it is important to remember how we as a community weathered a very challenging year together.  I believe we will be processing what it has meant to live through a global pandemic for years to come.  Let us always remember the ways we took care of each other, stayed connected, and stayed church. 

One of the hardest parts about looking back on this year is that after the initial stay at home order, things have constantly been shifting and changing with new information, while at the same time nothing much has changed.  It is hard to believe that we have not all been together inside in person since March 2020.  It is even harder for me to believe how connected I feel to St. Columba’s and how close I have held all of you in my heart and my prayers during this last year. It is sometimes difficult for me to remember how hard, scary, and shocking the initial couple months of the pandemic were.   And how it some ways that fear and shock are still with us as we wait for an ending to this global pandemic.  

I have spent so much of this year looking at the buddy groups spreadsheet and picturing each of you and praying for you and remembering you.  As people have engaged in zoom coffee hour, zoom adult formation and book clubs, protests at the church, pop-up church, zoom evening prayer, facebook live morning prayer and Sunday morning worship I have felt amazed at my spiritual connection to this community.  Amazed at the truth that we do not need to gather inside a building to be church.  That our desire to connect to God and take care of each other is what keeps us church.  This pandemic has only intensified what we all know deep in our hearts, God calls us unto community.  We are connected to each other and we are not meant to live in isolation.  This has been one of the greatest challenges of this year, to stay connected.  I believe this church as a whole, together, has met this challenge.

I will never get over the excitement I feel when one of you enters the waiting room of a zoom call.  While, it is not the same, and parts of me always dreads signing into zoom, it does keep me connected to this community and for that I am thankful.  It was my honor and privilege this year to lead three book clubs on So you Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo.  These were such hard, important, and holy conversations.  I am also thankful for those who engaged in the book, Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd and the class on Mary from the book, Truly our Sister by Elizabeth A. Johnson.  Both of these books explored and looked at how patriarchy has impacted women’s experience in the church and beyond.  Many of you also participated in the Prayer class and Advent Quiet Morning indulging more in contemplative spirituality.  Overall, this community has continued to wrestle, grow, and be open to what God may be saying in a new way.  It has been an honor to be on this journey with St. Columba’s. 

Also, watching how this community has taken care of each other through buddy groups, the food bank, and just watching how you all engage with each other on facebook has warmed my heart and encouraged me.  Our zoom baby shower and zoom house blessing were very special times to mark these important milestones happening to people in our community.  There have also been more occasions that I can count where I have seen people in this community reach out and support each other without a word from the priests.  And Alissa and I can just get to bask in how well this community loves each other.  

This year has been hard.  But when I look back on this year with the St. Columba’s community I am filled with gratitude and hope for what we have and what we will continue to create together in the months and years to come.  We are not alone because we are a part of community that strives to love God and love each other as we love ourselves.   I close out this year, thankful it is behind us and thankful I got to do it with the church community of St. Columba’s.

- The Rev. Meghan Mullarkey

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