Ginny Barnicoat, Senior Warden
The expression, “Life is what happens while we are making other plans," has never been more clearly illustrated as during this year. A lot of life has happened despite the pandemic: new births, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, although none of it was how we would have planned. Either despite, or because of our forced slow down, we have demonstrated to one another and to our greater community, Christ’s love through letter writing, sewing of masks, cooking, shopping for and delivering of food, Eucharistic visits, phone calls, musical gifts, game nights, and more.
I am amazed by the energy and ingenuity of our Rector, Noah, and Assistant Rector, Laura, and am grateful for the tremendous pastoral care of all of our clergy, Ted, Cat, Luke, and Jean. The entire St. Paul's staff has gone above and beyond to ensure that parish work continued seamlessly. I am immensely proud and grateful for the adaptivity, creativity, energy and genuine love demonstrated by the St. Paul's community this year and feel privileged to have worked with a strong and committed vestry team: Geoff Hurd, Jan Toth, Frank Horrigan, Ell Vines, John Sheehan, Gina Brownfield, Mark Lamendola, Karen Melvin, Leigh Coogan, Meghan Clark and Kathleen Hendricks Davies.
In early March, as priorities shifted towards efforts to keep staff and parishioners safe, we ceased in person worship. Yet, with the ingenuity of our clergy, staff, and vestry, we have maintained our sense of community with opportunities to express our faith and grow as followers of Christ. St. Paul's rooted itself in prayer, service, and God’s love. Church became a place where many of us found hope, inspiration, and courage. As much as we may wish this year had been different, we cannot deny the benefits from the time devoted to personal growth. The many small groups, and educational opportunities have allowed us to stretch our minds in a variety of ways including, learning to pray, celebrating morning and evening prayer, sharing of books, podcasts and gospel readings, delving into issues concerning social justice and racial equity, all of which we might otherwise have not explored.
Despite our many challenges in 2020, St. Paul's has remained robust, vibrant and relevant. I pray that as we eventually begin to venture out into the world, eating in restaurants, visiting loved ones, traveling, etc, we continue to take advantage of the lessons we have learned and the spiritual practices we have built during 2020. I am eternally grateful for our church family.