Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New Life?

I find myself wondering if there are signs of new life going on at Epiphany. When I first came there was a surge in attendance for about four months, before a drop-off and a return to deep bickering. I admit it was a frustrating time. Giving dropped to deadly levels and I feared it would be a few short months before Epiphany was made "comfort measures only" and allowed to die.

But then, somehow, something started to turn around. I think the people who were the most tired started resting after they resigned their positions, and they are starting to show joy again. Then a baby was baptized and a few weeks later, a grown-up was baptized. We looked to the congregation and ourselves to fund the special decorations for Pentecost... and got such a great response that not only did we decorate Pentecost, but we had enough to fill up the Flower Fund for over a month's worth of flowers. Unexpected guests risked joining us for the off-site picnic and people were happy and welcoming. The Vestry had an awesome first retreat and came up with several wonderful, exciting, and DO-ABLE ideas. Congregants are discussing sermons and future sermons via group email.

And now, two (count em!) two couples are beginning the process of marriage prep. I don't know if they will decide to go with Epiphany for their marriage ceremony, but in my time here, (two years in the fall!) we haven't had one request for marriages. Now we have had two requests for marriages within 4 weeks.

What is happening here? Could it be that our little patient on life support is slowly starting to get better? Is the day coming when we can take Epiphany's vent out and let it breathe on its own? Could it be that something very special is happening to this little place, and that maybe, just maybe, this little stone church will make it after all? Could it be that we are feeling hope? Could we be infected with the virus of joy?

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