September 23, 2022
A Meditation from the Rector: In the depths of hardship, enduring grace
To my dear friends in Christ,
What a week it was.
What a community of faith we are.
In our heartfelt service, among so many of our island community leaders and friends, we simply said YES to God’s challenge of finding shelter for 48 traumatized Venezuelans, adults and children alike, and welcomed them in. And prayed that God would show us the way.
We showed them love. We showed them Christ.
And I don’t think anyone—those we served, and those who served—will be the same again.
For we have been vessels of Enduring Grace.
Among the countless emails, texts and phone calls and messages I’d received in the last week, perhaps my favorite is the one, below, emailed me to Bill Goettler, from my Divinity School.
The reason I like it so much is that it so clearly articulates exactly how I feel about all of you who, in ways big and small, contributed to the unbelievably powerful swell of Spirit and Love down here at the corner of Summer and Winter Streets, whether by prayer, by kind and encouraging words, by staying overnight here with our new friends, or making a donation—just to name a few.
Thank you for your wondrous expressions of love.
And for your own witness and testimony to our One Great Love.
Yours in faith,
+ + +
Dear Father Chip,
I’ve been so moved by the stories of steady and faithful witness to the gospel and hospitality being extended by the Saint Andrews congregation, when faced with the large group of sojourners who didn’t expect to arrive at your door. Your community’s response is a joy to behold, a model for Christians everywhere.
Most stunning, perhaps, is that the congregation responded with no notice at all… no chance to make plans, to prepare space, to raise funds. It all makes clear that the radical and limitless hospitality of the body of Christ has been preached and lived at St. Andrews, in ways that have prepared a people to simply open the doors of the church and invite strangers to enter as friends.
Your Yale Divinity School community holds you and your congregation, and the sojourners who have been in your midst, in prayer and in hope. Know that your witness has touched millions of people, and that your faithfulness will long be a model to those who follow. Thank you.
Ministerial and Social Leadership
Yale Divinity School