Coming Together in the Bleak Mid-Winter

In the bleak midwinter

Icy winds did moan

Earth as hard as iron

Water like a stone

Sitting here by the fire avoiding the outside chores, I am calculating how much longer until we see some signs of spring. Christmas and the associated chaos have come and gone, and there is always a tendency to pull back into smaller circles in January….. .However, I fear a little cabin fever is setting in. Our secular celebration of midwinter, Groundhog Day, is the unwelcome reminder that despite the days getting noticeably longer, we have 6 weeks to go till spring.

We ventured out last Wednesday to attend the Bishop’s reception and service and were delighted to see the great turnout. There was a wonderful Pot Luck dinner with plenty for all, and it was especially nice to break bread with the attendees from all three services. It made me realize that we have fellow parishioners that we have known for quite some time, but others we don’t meet despite passing through the same building literally minutes apart. And as the pattern and schedules of people’s lives change and their choice of which service to attend changes, we sometimes fall out of touch with people that we used to see all the time. Potluck suppers are a great way to both connect and reconnect.

The Bishop himself was warm and engaging, and I believe he left with a pretty good sense of what Advent is about. When the Bishop was asked if he could suggest ways in which our church and congregation could grow, he encouraged us to find those things we are called to do and do them with vigor. This was an inspiring reminder of the need to stay active and involved not only in our church but also in the greater community. The groundhog may go back into hiding, but we are called to remain visible and do the work God intends for us to do.

I am reminded of one of my favorite prayer, attributed to Father Mycael Judge. He was Chaplin to a NYC fire brigade and was killed on 9/11. They call it the Fireman’s prayer-

Lord this day,

Take me where you want me to go,

Let me meet who you want me to meet,

Tell me what you want me to say,

And keep me out of your way.

Kevin Delaney, Vestry Member