Dearly Beloved,

I awoke this morning to pitter-pattering footsteps and the creak of my bedroom door. Even though it was still dark out, Cora was too excited to go back to sleep -- today she turned 4. When I began my ministry with you, Cora had just turned one and was taking her first wobbly steps. So much has changed since then!

It's easy to see with Cora all the changes that have happened. No longer the baby anymore, she has embraced her role as big sister. She loves helping out in the kitchen, playing make believe and listening to stories. 

It's easy to see the changes in our congregation as well. The pivots we've made to navigate a pandemic, shifts in membership, major repairs and upgrades to our building, and navigating the Open and Affirming process. 

Even when changes are good, they can feel overwhelming and make it difficult to see all that has stayed the same. Like how curious, kind, goofy and spirited Cora is. Like how much our congregation likes to have fun together or how central music is to our spiritual life. Like our enduring desire to know and love God and to follow Jesus' teaching and example. Like our chancel cross that's been around since the 1965 remodel of our sanctuary or the stained glass windows that are as old as this building. Like God's faithful love that holds us from one generation to the next. Like the friendships that we have forged in this community and the ways we have experienced God's abiding presence.

This Sunday, we celebrate and bless 120 years of our congregation's ministry, we mark another Thanksgiving, and we prepare for the coming season of Advent. Through all the changes of our lives, God's love is steadfast. Thanks be to God!

With love and gratitude,