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THE NOURISH LETTER
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WRITING ON THE WALL
A Lesson in Fear and Faith
maintain the bonds from our old church, while building new ones in the new congregation. Looking back on the experience, we really should have done it sooner. And when the leadership came together to help with my father’s funeral last January, I knew St. John’s in Vernon was truly our home. I was humbled to have been able to help my parish through that trying time. I’ve always been an avid churchgoer and in an alternate reality, I believe I would have become a priest instead of a chef. There’s still a chance I may enter the priesthood in retirement. Personally, I feel that the church could do a lot more in regard to understanding the natural world, using breakthroughs in quantum physics. The way I see it, there’s no divide between the scientific method and spiritual practices that go back throughout human history. The idea that there has to be this discord between church and science is all wrong. One of my passions involves reading on the divine as well as reading about discoveries in quantum physics. I firmly believe that, in our lifetime, we will come to prove God does exist — that He is here and now and everywhere — using scientific breakthroughs. It is possible, if we approach religion with a new, fresh set of eyes, that we can bring the kind of deeper understanding that we desperately need to our modern world. Only God knows what the future will bring, but when we trust in His plan and allow ourselves to look at things with an open mind, the unknown doesn’t seem so scary after all.
It is scary not knowing what the future will bring. This is something I was reminded of two years ago when we had to leave our church in East Hartford. I was baptized at St. John’s Episcopal Church in East Hartford in 1970, confirmed there in 1984 and married there in 1999. That church had been with me my whole life, but our congregation had gotten old and our numbers dwindled. This is something many churches experience and it is a heavy burden on a church. The only option was to close our doors, merge with another parish and sell our building.
I was the senior warden who spearheaded this process. It wasn’t easy to make people see we had to let go. Like myself, many members of the congregation had been going to this church their entire lives. But the reality was that we weren’t growing and if you’re not growing you’re dying. The writing was on the wall. We didn’t know what we were going to look like on the other side. What would happen to our stuff? Our liturgy?
Our events? Would we have to give up all our traditions? Through that process, we learned a lot about having faith and trusting in God’s plan for us. It was a struggle, but when we reached that other side, the outcome, God’s plan for us, was much better than anything we could have planned for ourselves. Our last service at the church in East Hartford was Christmas of 2016. We moved in with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Vernon the next week. Right from the start, their parish was warm and welcoming. They worked hard to help everyone
“Through that process, we learned a lot about having faith and trusting in God’s plan for us.”
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