“God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty…That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I Corinthians 1:25, 27
A few days after I accepted the call to serve as your rector, I met up with Kathleen Alexander for some orientation to our new home. Just before I left, she told me that she had some reading material for me—and I’ll say she did. She presented me with a stuffed jumbo-sized three-ring binder entitled, “The New Century Project,” circa 1998. This was followed by a tall ream of printed sheets. These were the collected comments from your rector search survey and a transcription of all that had been written on newsprint sheets posted around Saint Francis Hall at a big parish meeting held just about a year ago.
I went home and dutifully set to work, and I read it all. And as you would expect, there was a great deal of continuity. At the beginning and end of nearly two decades marked by great change, the people of Saint Francis placed their central focus on faithful Anglican worship, beautiful traditional music and inspired preaching. Then and now, you wanted to learn together, to grow in your relationships with each other, to form the young, and to serve the poor. Of course, many of the people who were leading the projects and making the comments were the same, a remarkable thing in a part of the world where everything often seems to be in flux.
But there were also great differences.