Embracing Change

Embracing Change

This article has been reprinted from the December issue of the St. Matthew's, Sacramento Newsletter. Click here to read the entire issue.

by Jim McCartney, Senior Warden for St. Matthew's, Sacramento

Change: "to alter, to make different, transform, modify" – what an apropos term for St. Matthew’s. I have told this story many times: I read an article on successful aging and they listed five to 10 items that seemed to be present in those who aged successfully. I promptly forgot all of them except one. The ones I forgot I thought I had to some degree or another, but the one I have problems with I remembered. Change: "the ability to accept and adapt to change." St. Matthew’s tests us all in this area.

We said goodbye to our priest in June; we said hello to the vestry and senior warden as the governing body of the church. We said goodbye to some beloved members the past year and said hello to some new. We will say goodbye to a couple who were a significant presence to our church family, Noella and Stu Bradbury, on Sunday, December 11 and we say hello to newly baptized and confirmed. We will say goodbye to four vestry members and say hello to new members in January. Our church and church family are in constant change, and I do feel uncomfortable at times – I don’t want people to leave, I don’t want priests to leave, I don’t like changes. How interesting that you notice the word "I" quite frequently. Is it really "I" who is important? Is it really allowing me to grow if there is no change? Does the church grow with no change?

The church is changing, and in many good ways. Our physical plant, the buildings and grounds always are in need of change and repair. Did you know that we received an anonymous gift to fix the roof in the office? It is now repaired. Did you know that we received an anonymous gift to replace the floor?

The vestry should decide within weeks about a new floor and have it installed. Did you know that we received a grant from the diocese for dollars to continue roof repairs on other structures along with basic needs that the vestry will determine? Did you know that the Bishop and the diocese support our mission and outreach as a significant and important part of Episcopal outreach in Northern California?|

Did you know that the outreach at St. Matthew’s has been combined and is now called "St. Matthew’s Community Resource Center," which includes the food and clothes closets and the Charles Coleman Health Outreach and parent resources? Our spiritual growth continues and grows through Education For Ministry (EFM) that CeeCee Coleman will conduct; Deacon Cindy Long is conducting classes on what it means to be an Episcopalian for new members who are unfamiliar with our church; and Father David and Norma Boge have developed a stewardship schedule to help us all in our time, talent and tithe.

Change can be uncomfortable and yet exciting. You will notice small and large changes in the physical plant over the next months – be sure to climb on the roof to see some (well, just kidding!). What doesn’t change is the Christian mission to love God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. What doesn’t change is the Advent Season and the preparation for the peaceful presence of the Christ Child that we view with such anticipation. What doesn’t change is St. Matthew’s mission to be "a multicultural Episcopal parish extending hospitality to all through outreach, formation and worship."

To learn more about St. Matthew's, Sacramento, visit their new website, www.stmatthewschurchsacramento.org.


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