Reverend Karen’s Thanksgiving Letter 2019
As I write this Thanksgiving letter, I am keenly aware that the Parish of St. John’s is in a time of transition. First off, I want to thank you for the warm welcome I received upon arriving as your interim priest. My role as an interim minister is to lead and to journey with you through this time of transition, and to prepare St. John’s for the time when the parish is ready to take on an Incumbent. I am deeply humbled and grateful to have been asked to serve in the capacity of Interim Priest-in-Charge. I look forward to getting to know you, and I have much to learn from you as we journey through the transition together. Secondly, I want to emphasize that leadership in the Church is not exercised solely by the priest, nor in isolation, but as a shared ministry. In this, I am counting on you to offer your gifts and talents to the best of your ability for the building up of the Kingdom of God both in the parish and in the community of St. Thomas.
Transition means “change” (a dreaded word for Anglicans), but without change we would not have Thanksgiving. It is only through changing of the seasons that we sow, reap and harvest. Each season has its reason for being. Autumn is a season that delights the eyes with colour and the tastebuds with flavour. It is a time when fruits are ripe and the harvest is plentiful. It is a time when we are assured that our bodies will continue to be nurtured by the goodness of the earth. It is a time to give thanks to God our Creator. Although the earth has a way of renewing itself, much of the food we enjoy comes through the labour of those who work the land to produce the harvest. Without agricultural producers, most of us wouldn’t have food on the table at Thanksgiving, or any other time of year for that matter. Just as it takes the labours of countless farmers to produce a plentiful harvest, so too it takes the work of the followers of Jesus as we offer ourselves, our time and our talents, according to our various abilities, in order to produce that which the Church brings to the world. Through a variety of ministries, we all work toward the same goal–to further the Kingdom by sharing the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Reverend Karen Nelles