Dear People of St. Catherine’s,
May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you all! Lori and I have been joyfully anticipating joining you on our common walk with Christ, and finally the time has come to be church together and to explore how the Holy Spirit is calling us “to nurture each other in the knowledge and love of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to share the Good News with all.” With many thanks to Fr. Allen Farabee, the Wardens, the Vestry, and the Search Committee, we happily join our lives with all of yours on this common Christian journey.
As a gardener, I know that beginnings need to be tended with care—from planting a young Rainbow Eucalyptus sapling to sprouting seedlings in containers, I’ve learned that beginnings are sacred times that call for attentiveness and dedication. And our beginning together is no different. It is a time for me to come to know you, to do some deep listening… to hear and learn and help invigorate your hopes and dreams, as well as your stories
and deep memories, that together we may build this next chapter of St. Catherine’s life upon deep roots supporting strong, wide, and expansive branches.
The poet Rainer Maria Rilke makes this connection between attentiveness, dedication, and new growth in the first of his Sonnets to Orpheus:
A tree ascended there. Oh pure transcendence!
Oh Orpheus sings! Oh tall tree in the ear!
And all things hushed. Yet even in that silence
a new beginning, beckoning, change appeared.
One need not be a great gardener to know that light is one of the necessary ingredients for a healthy plant. And we are in a season of light! February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord, also known as Candlemas. Traditionally this was a day when all the candles for the coming year were blessed by the church. In the Celtic world, Candlemas was the beginning of the season of Imbolc (meaning, “lambs’ milk,” a sign of new life), as it is the time exactly between the winter solstice and the spring equinox… in other words, a time when the light is still small compared to the darkness, but is clearly and measurably growing.
While we won’t be asking you to bring your year’s supply of light bulbs to church for a blessing, we will be incorporating candles into our service, as a reminder of two things I’d like to highlight for us during this time of our new beginning together:
No matter how dark it gets, the light of Christ is never extinguished, and only glows the brighter. Darkness of any sort—whether COVID, or social or political divisions, or the vagaries of the economy—need never overpower the Divine Light that binds us as brothers and sisters in Christ as long as we are focused on the Light with attentiveness and dedication.
We ARE that Light! We are Christ in the world, for the world, and for one another. As Christians our light is meant to shine beyond ourselves, and so the light we carry is meant to help light others’ way. The darker the times, the more important it is for us to cultivate the joyful light of Christ that is our deepest nature. As a songwriter friend of mine once put it, “We are like stars/ stars in the sky. The darker the night/ the brighter we will shine.”
Let us shine the light of Christ upon the soil of our hearts… and then seeing what beautiful new things will spring to life!
Sunday 8:00 AM
Sunday 9:00 AM
HOLY EUCHARIST WITH MUSIC
Sunday 10:00 AM
Sunday 10:00 AM