Torch Article: Reverendly Yours - Rev. Tom Goldsmith

18 August 2019

Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, where our church community gets really pumped being reunited with friends at the start of the year, but a summer under siege makes us long more fiercely than ever for our community to gather again. What a summer, filled with more pain and divisiveness ever thought possible. And it was pretty hot, too.

We may pine for that nostalgic sense of lazy and hazy days of summer, where summer meant time away from stress and hassles. But this summer was filled with terrorizing hate and fear and loss. Racism is no longer subject to interpretation. We saw it up close, and felt sick as its white supremacy fangs spread venom through the nation. Nationalism no longer pretended to cloak its xenophobia by speaking in code or dog whistles. It was the real thing unleashed in all its ugliness. It was a tough season not to be supported by one another. 

It was a summer that made you feel blessed to be part of our church community. We share the same sensibilities, precluding lengthy arguments and explanations. Our church is a sanctuary for just being ourselves. This is an easy measure when among friends and allies. We return to church feeling battle-weary, and look for new energy filled with hope by way of hugs, smiles, worship, and recommitting to our many social justice programs. 

Yes, welcome back. We resume worship services on August 25th. This follows another fantastic Summer Forum series, led by Tim and Cathy Chambless. Our gratitude to them for keeping the church fully engaged on Sunday mornings with outstanding speakers addressing provocative subjects. Summer Forum often brings new people to the church. Our community definitely grows by way of Summer Forum establishing the right vibe reflective of who we are. 

The church will look and feel a little different when you return. The Capital Campaign, almost 60% of goal, has turned its attention to providing double windows in the chapel and the old parts of Eliot Hall. This huge energy-saving need has finally been satisfied thanks to your generosity. We maintain our commitment to being green. And the windows also help cut electric costs in the summer. We have brand new air conditioning condensers in operation. 

The summer hiatus naturally slowed the Capital Campaign down. Please let us resume our commitment and – as they say in the construction business – finish the job. Pledges are over a three-year period. We are at a point now, however, where cash flow has become paramount. Hint, hint, hint. Grab a pledge card at church if you haven’t already. And please let some funds begin to flow in. Much to be done.

Hopes and expectations are high for this church year as it is every year. The times demand of us a clear articulation of our liberal faith and our active demonstration of what that means. It feels this summer set the bar for our work especially high. But maybe that’s always how it has been. I am excited about seeing you all again on August25th at 10:00 for one service only. We resume two services on September 8th. And away we go…TRG