A Letter from the Rector

 

 

Dear Emmanuel Community,

 

None of us could have imagined or predicted what this year would be like. While there

is certainly much to grieve, I also find that I keep coming back to gratitude; the gratitude

I feel for each of you, for our staff, and for our community at large, which has been a

beacon in the midst of all of this uncertainty. 

 

The resilience that you all have shown in the face of unprecedented times reflects

the strength and joy of our congregation. You all have shown unwavering support for

Emmanuel in your continued presence and participation as we have pivoted to online

worship, formation, and community. You have remained committed to continuing in our

practices of faith and devotion even though it has required thinking creatively and sometimes

moving outside of our comfort zones. 

 

In the wake of the pandemic, I have been heartened by Emmanuel’s commitment to providing resources for the community, for our tenants, and for our neighbors. We have remained committed to sharing our treasure and talent to support those who have been devastated by the changes in our world, and you have also continued to strengthen your relationships within the church and to support each other.

 

Truly, we have continued to live into our vision—forming ourselves, nurturing each other, and transforming the world—and for that I have an incredible amount of gratitude. 

 

Our ability to do all that we have done has been bolstered by several years of strong stewardship. As parishioners, you have faithfully supported Emmanuel, and we have seen the fruits of that support this year as we have weathered the pandemic. 

 

As we move into a new year and a new stewardship campaign, there is great uncertainty about what the future holds in our induvial lives. As we each consider our pledges to Emmanuel for 2021, I know that we all give with faithfulness. Whatever one chooses to pledge, it is given with great discernment and care for not only the church but also your families and loved ones. 

 

This year, for all you have given in the past and all you continue to give, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude. The way in which our community has shined this year reminds me of the importance of faith communities in the world. Personally, I cannot imagine having weathered 2020 without being a part of Emmanuel. The relationships, connections, and spiritual support have nourished my soul in these unprecedented times. 

 

As you discern what you are called to pledge, please know we are doing all we can to continue caring for the Emmanuel staff and community while also reducing unnecessary spending as we faithfully steward the resources you so generously share. 

 

Thank you for support Emmanuel through your many gifts. Thank you for being a part of this church and this community. I look forward to moving into 2021 with confidence in our ability to face whatever comes with creativity and faithfulness.

 

With gratitude,

 

The Rev. Elizabeth Riley

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