January 2020  
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Rector's Msg.

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 1 Cor 12:12-13

Here is the story of two gifts. The first comes from inside the church, in the form of an eighth- grader, who used her talents and abilities to bless the community. Mei Lin has been playing her violin in the church and blessing people in worship since she was a little girl, but recently she came up with an idea to host a Bluegrass Gospel concert to raise money for Interfaith Food Ministry (IFM). She, with the assistance of her family, planned, organized, and marketed the concert. Those who were able to attend were treated to an amazing evening of music, which highlighted the remarkable talents of several local musicians and revealed the power of music to move the heart and to create community. The result of this evening was that a church filled with people was able to be transported by Mei Lin’s music and she was able to raise $1,830.15 for IFM to carry out its mission of feeding families and fueling hope.

The second gift comes from outside the congregation, but it is another story of partnership. During one of the Public Safety Power Shutoffs we had this fall the diocese contacted me regarding the state of Interfaith Food Ministry. They knew about IFM because, when the bishop had visited, she had toured that ministry and was struck by the good work that they were doing. When the diocese called I visited IFM to check on them and discovered that they had no power, their freezers and refrigerators were beginning to thaw, and they were distributing food via flashlight. Speaking to the staff there, I learned that the need for food increases after a power outage because many of their clients lose power, as well, and must restock their homes after throwing out spoiled food. In addition, IFM had been looking into ways to protect themselves from the effects of future power outages so that they could be a secure source of food for others, who cannot prepare in the same way. Armed with this knowledge I contacted the diocese and let them know that there was a great need. They said there was the possibility for them to apply on our behalf to Episcopal Relief and Development for a grant for IFM. Episcopal Relief and Development is a ministry of the Episcopal Church, which works to facilitate healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster, and disease around the world. I was incredibly thankful that the diocese would do this on behalf of a ministry that we support, and we waited while the process played out. Several weeks ago, we received a handwritten letter from the diocese with a check for $10,000.00 for us to distribute to IFM.

In these two gifts God was showing to me the importance of working together, in the first, we were able to help facilitate the vision of a young member of our church to serve those in need. In the second others facilitated the vision of our church to serve those in need. This is the body of Christ at work; each of us has a role and a gift that we bring together to make the body strong and effective in carrying out the ministry of the church. Thanks be to God!

In Christ,

~Seth~