Yesterday, I planted 6 pots full of pansies...purple, yellow, and some kind of burning mix of orange, red, and yellow. I began by pulling out the old plants - basil, coleus, and vinca - then pulled off my gloves and got my hands into the dirt, tucking the pansies into place with some rich potting soil around their roots.
Pansy planting is a fall ritual for me as I prepare my porch for the cool Wilmington winter. Pansies make me laugh with their funny faces, and they keep me hopeful with their unlikely beauty in the midst of the winter cold, rain, and rare ice/snow. Even in the shorter days of winter, and even when they're covered by frost, pansies keep their colors and resiliently withstand winter's worst. They remind me that if they can make it till spring, I can too!
This week, we begin the season of Advent in the church, which is also a preparation time- a time of waiting for the light of Christ to be born again in our hearts. It's a time in the life of the church when we all ready ourselves for the birth of the Christ Child, and even though we've heard the story hundreds of times, we need to hear it again. We need to wait. To be paitent. To be hopeful.
As we wait together for God's most wonderful gift to be born again, I want to thank you all on behalf of your vestry for your support of us, and more importantly, your faithful support of Holy Cross. This year has been a year of transition, and a faith journey for Holy Cross. In the past 12 months, we've prepared to welcome our new priest, said a temporary good-bye to Jerry and Joy as Jerry stepped away from his supply priest role, and welcomed with open arms Chana and TJ! We've said good-bye to Amanda and welcomed Ethan and Kaylie and Zadie. We've seen Bonnie Yeakey step down from her role as Treasurer, and we're still determining how to restructructure her duties in 2018.
We held a special Celebration of Ministry to officially welcome Chana and to celebrate our ministry together. We added 5 new members to Holy Cross when the Bishop came that same weekend. And we're excited about what's next for Holy Cross in 2018 as we begin to revisit our mission and vision, and to think about long-term planning for this parish.
And I just have to say...Holy Cross has been full of life in November...the music has been lively (thanks Ethan and band!) , and it's great to see all the visitors and feel the great energy in the worship services!
In addition, Eric Griffin (who is attending Holy Cross with his wife, Kim), the Emergency Manager and Assistant Director of Environmental Health and Safety at UNCW, and two sheriff's deputies have met with the vestry to talk about ways we can make Holy Cross more safe and secure. We've examined some of their recommended changes that we can incorporate this year, and are in the process of prioritizing safety features and procedures we can implement in 2018. We'll be seeking your input and feedback in 2018 as we progress with this work.
OK...so that sounds like a lot of busy-ness - and it is - and I'd invite you to read Chana's message again to get yourself calmed down for Advent! I would like to leave you with the thought that the vestry is forward thinking and grateful for your support. May the Peace of the Lord be always with you...beth