Gift of Wonder

Dear Friend of St. Mark’s:

A bookcase in my office has a small stack of children’s Christmas books on it – Joseph Slate’s Who Is Coming to Our House?, Eve Bunting’s We Were There (with fabulous paintings by Wendell Minor)books, an illustrated version of Maya Angelou’s Christmas poem, “Amazing Peace,” and – my new favorite – Wombat Divine by Mem Fox. I bought them all in search of the perfect story to share when St. Mark’s gathers for Evensong on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). As I was reading through these delightful stories, I began to reflect on the playfulness of the Christmas season. Christmas is a time of year, unlike any other, that gives adults permission to play – to see the world through the lens of wonder and awe, to experience the old as new, to become childlike – even to read children’s stories with delight!

Back in September we launched St. Mark’s “class” God-Centered Living across the Life Span by handing out a course syllabus in worship (you can still get a copy online here – but know that some dates and times may have changed, so the St. Mark’s website calendar is always the best source for the most current information). A bit tongue-in-cheek, the syllabus described small groups, lab work and practicums which are all part of the ‘curriculum’ and, in the hallway nearest the sanctuary, we created a display where ‘lab experiment’ results are being posted – photos from the ministry fair, social media Sunday, and Conversation Cafés already fill the board.

What the syllabus described as God-Centered living was, of course, not actually a new class or program – it was simply a new way of looking at how we already do faith as Christians at St. Mark’s. Looking at our life together in a new way, I hope, has allowed and will continue allowing us to try new things, to be playful together – to see St. Mark’s and our community through the lens of wonder and awe, to experience the old as new again, and to dare to become childlike – to come to St. Mark’s and to be St. Mark’s with childlike wonder. I imagine this childlike wonder might even be how Jesus saw his life as he experienced the old world from a new, human point of view; God with us, Emmanuel, in a new way.

This Advent, as we prepare with heart, mind, soul and strength to welcome again the Christ child and to prepare with heart, mind, soul and strength for the Coming of Christ again, I ask you to join me in making a Gift of Wonder to St. Mark’s by clicking on the Donate button on the top right hand side of the screen (in the memo line please indicate “Christmas gift”).

As we continue our preparations for the celebration of Christmas – the coming of Christ into the world and our anticipation of Christ’s coming again – I invite you to bring your childlike self to St. Mark’s. Bring your wonder, your awe, your fears, your hopes, your worries, and your excitement . . . . bring your whole self and do faith, be church, in community with St. Mark’s. On behalf of St. Mark’s Wardens, Vestry & Staff Members, thank you for all that you give and may you and your loved ones experience God’s blessings in this Season of Wonder.

Faithfully Yours,

Pastor Debra+

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