I live fairly close to St. Paul’s, and I regularly traverse the short route between my apartment and the church when heading to a service or a meeting at the parish. This inevitably involves walking along K Street between 24th and 25th Streets. Most of the time, I pass college-age students—lots of them (probably on a run to nearby Trader Joe’s). They are most likely students at George Washington University, since St. Paul’s is practically on that campus. When I turn the corner at 24th Street and K and head toward St. Paul’s, I am reminded that hundreds of students live in the dorm (City Hall) that is just steps away from our very own parish doors. They are, in fact, our neighbors.
We haven’t mentioned the word yet this fall, so I thought you may be missing it. We on the Vestry have not forgotten, but the dual realities of bringing in new personnel (me), and the furlough which affected so many and made asking for money seem like an unkind thing to do, led us to wait a bit. But you are beginning to hear from us now.
Just so you know where I am about giving, I believe that true giving comes from a grateful heart. Yes, “God loves a cheerful giver, but will take the money of a grouch.” Yet it is truly when we know what we have that sustains our hearts, fills our lives, feeds our souls that we are moved to be generous.
As we begin our Rector's Forum for this season, I was urged to use some other word than "Interim" or "Interim Period" to describe our time together, because it gives the impression that the parish is somehow partially "on hold." Yes, I am the Interim Rector, but that's a description of my duration here not the parish's identity, so I agreed with the suggestion. In fact, as you have heard me say several times, I am delighted with the vitality I find here and the ways in which the congregation lives and functions as a worshiping and serving community.