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A message from the rector

A Welcoming Church at the Heart of Richmond Hill

Why in the world would a family move during this COVID pandemic?  When the Holy Spirit guided our discernment to do exactly that, we trust she knows what she is doing.  So the boxes were packed and the house was listed for sale.  I began ministry at St. Elizabeth Episcopal Church on 1 August.  My wife, Elizabeth who is a Special Education teacher, and our daughters remained in Thomasville to tie up loose ends.  Here we are at the start of Fall and still working on the move.

Deaths due to COVID continue to climb as I settle into my post as Rector at St. Elizabeth.  What is a church to do?  How can we be a church without Sunday in-person worship?  What is a church without pot luck dinners?  How can we heal the wounded if we are unable to touch and comfort the grieving without offering a hug?  How do we visit the sick and clothe the naked?

I am coming to know and be inspired by this awesome and dedicated community of faith who care for each other and for their community.  While it has been challenging, St. Elizabeth members have found ways to remain connected and extend care to each other and to the wider community.  They did/do so most importantly by maintaining a robust prayer ministry.  In addition, parish members wasted no time developing safe protocols for community clients wishing to visit our thrift store.  Preschool staff created storytime other learning videos for their little students at home.  Then we turned their attention to safely re-opening our preschool which serves as a blessing place for many local families.  We welcomed back Boy Scout Troop 486 under the Boy Scouts of America S.A.F.E plan.  Volunteers were not deterred from continuing appropriate stewardship for our property and facility.  We jumped into developing an online presence, with a weekly Sunday Devotion and daily Morning Prayer.  Finally, our eccumenical Bible Study is now up and running safely.

Notice my grammar in the paragraph above.  It illustrates what happens at St. Elizabeth.  I began by writing in third person.  I concluded by writing in first person.  St. Elizabeth embraces, affirms, invites and draws others into the life of the community.  New members will quickly find themselves participating in prayer, outreach, community, worship and study.  All are welcome.



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