Last night was my final Welcome Meal. It has been a staple of most Wednesdays since I arrived in early 2022. Back then we were in “pandemic mode,” serving pre-packaged meals to guests who gathered at our doors. In warmer weather we gathered outside and enjoyed conversations as we dispersed meals and beverages.
In recent months, we’ve returned to the “fine dining experience,” using plates, silverware, and linen napkins instead of their plastic and paper counterparts. People are served at their table.
It is our Wednesday Evening Congregation. We even have music. Last night we had Marty Cohen playing guitar. The strains of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” filled the room, assuring us that “it’s alright.”
It’s wonderful that several non-church members and neighbors are regular volunteers. But the phrase “many hands make light work” is still true. I encourage you to be part of this vital ministry of the church. It is a true time of fellowship with a wonderful group of people. It has been a privilege to be their pastor in this interim time. We said our goodbyes. I look forward to hearing how this ministry develops with the steady pastoral hand of Pastor Larissa.
In the coming week, Pastor Larissa Forsythe and her family will be making their way to their new home at Damen and Bradley Place. While others will be packing the truck, Pastor Larissa and her husband will be driving the vehicles heading westward. The caravan will arrive at some point next week. We send our traveling mercies to all of them and wish them safety and good directions.
In our initial conversation, Pastor Larissa and I discovered that we have a favorite writer in common: Anne Lamott. It’s appropriate that I paraphrase a quote from Anne’s book Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, in preparation for their journey:
“The road to Chicago is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.” Happy travels!