Christ the Redeemer,

Settling in after a three-month sabbatical, I find myself experiencing gratitude on every side. I enjoyed much needed rest, finished research for my doctoral thesis project, made home improvements, and gave attention to my family before and after the birth of our fourth son, Alcuin (AL-quinn). CTR both providing the time and respected it. While some say that it is impossible to rest from ministry without leaving town, you gave us real privacy, though we were just a mile away. This self-control and boundary-keeping means something about our health as a congregation, and I thank you for it.

I’m also grateful for the new ministry space enclosed for the children in the Parish Hall. In my absence, staff, vestry, and volunteers helped to accomplish this. As we minister to more and more children, our team has been making good use of the space available.  We have twice reached a critical tipping point and needed to request the congregation’s help to provide more room. First, there was the Sheepfold, and now the Stage. This is another sign of our congregation’s health— those ministering to children know they are not working alone.

Our youth ministry is expanding as well. The Youth Advisory Team has helped us envision a new model for ministry where, first, we’re offering three Sunday-afternoon small group gatherings (Junior High, Senior High girls, and Senior High guys); second, we’re launching a Tuesday evening gathering to all students (grades 6-12) irrespective of their commitment or familiarity with us; third, Karl Wacker and Megan Gongola will serve the youth ministry as interns. Both are first-year GCTS students, bringing a range of fruitful youth ministry experience. We are also trying to raise up an adult support network, parishioners who care about youth, but don’t necessarily want to be “youth leaders.” They will be the first people we contact when we’re looking for help with hosting, transportation, chaperoning, food, supplies, or other practical ministry needs.  And, our personal mentoring ministry for high school students will continue!

With Gratitude,
Fr. Brian