I want to begin this letter by expressing my gratitude. Christmas is always a glorious celebration here at Trinity. There are many who help to make this so, and you know who you are. From Altar and Flower Guild members to lectors, acolytes, choristers, musicians, chalice bearers ushers, and all in between, your dedication is a blessing to all who gathered here for worship. For each of you, I thank God. I especially want to recognize the hard working and talented members of our staff. Jane, Betsy, Christian, Richard, Tommy, and Angela put in a whole lot of hard work and effort in order to make these seasons of Advent and Christmas as wonderful as they are. On behalf of the congregation, I thank you.
At the same time, please join me in thanking Ellen Hall, Nicky Perry, and the members of their committee for conducting a fantastic Christmas Auction. The last I heard, over $60,000.00 has been raised in support of the mission and ministries of our congregation. Well done!
We will soon enter in to the season of Epiphany. On Saturday, January 6th, which is the Feast of the Epiphany, we will celebrate the arrival of the Magi from the east at the manger side. Like those wandering kings, we will spend the coming weeks contemplating the meaning of the birth of this child in terms of the way we understand the meaning and purpose of our own lives. This begins with the humble acknowledgement that we brought nothing with us when we were born into this world and we will take nothing with us when we depart. Ours is a transitory life, and as a result, our time is not about ownership but rather about stewardship. We are called to spend our days honoring and caring for the world that God has created and all that inhabit the same. The litmus test for every generation is, did we leave the world in better shape for the generations to come or did we plunder it for our own short-term self-interests? Like the Magi, we are called to bring our gifts of time, talent, and material resources and offer our service to God in thanksgiving for this newborn king. That service is stewardship. Epiphany is the season that brings us this realization.
In order to truly understand the spirit of life-long stewardship, I recommend that we adopt resolutions for the New Year that will keep us mindful of all of God’s many blessings, thereby fostering a constant spirit of gratitude in our hearts and minds. For example, consider keeping the Daily Offices of Morning, Noontime, and Evening Prayer as found in our Book of Common Prayer. There are simplified versions intended for individuals and families beginning on page 136. I commend them to you.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rev. Rob Banse