They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. - Jeremiah 17:8
Dear Epiphany Family,
One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott says that there are three essential prayers, “Help, Thanks, Wow.” I could sure say all three of those prayers when I think of you. I am amazed by the way you are always there to “help” one another in times of need. I am “wowed” by the depth of your generosity, creativity, thoughtfulness, dedication, and wisdom. And I constantly have a prayer of gratitude and “thanks” on my lips for the many gifts that you share with our community.
You have all heard the familiar expression “can’t see the forest for the trees” before. We often use it to describe an occasion when we lose sight of the big picture because we are so focused on the details. From where I sit, I often experience the blessing of being able to see the big picture of our congregation – the ministry we bring to each other, the impact we have on our community, the ways that week after week we come together to joyfully celebrate our faith and praise God. That would be the forest.
And then, I get to wander amongst the trees. From the smallest little shoot reaching out from its seed and finding the sunlight, to the mightiest tree, standing tall, showing strength, offering sheltering love to those who need it. Each of you are those trees, each drawing strength from our shared Eucharistic meal and then going out to shower the world with the love and grace we have come to know here. I am blessed that I can see both the forest and the trees in our congregation.
When I walk through a forest, I am aware of the tangle of roots, how one tree is connected to another. Trees use these networks, secretly talking to each other through their roots, passing information along. Adult trees share their sugars with young saplings, an aging tree can send its remaining resources back out to help the community. These networks, these roots of abundance, keep trees in place just as much as they enable them to grow and share.
This year the theme of our annual Stewardship/Pledge campaign, which will kick-off in just a few weeks is Rooted in Abundance, which reminds us that we are indeed a mighty forest comprised of all sorts of trees from dignified, venerable trunks to sprightly, sprawling saplings—each one contributing gifts to a world in need. Soon you will be able to read and hear personal stories of abundance and as you do, I hope you will take note of how generosity spreads and widens our root structures of faith and action here at Epiphany.
Help, Thanks, Wow,