Passing the Baton
What a gift to me, to Rick, and to my family to have served at Grace church for these past 8 years! As a young girl, even though I had not yet experienced anything like it, still I dreamed of a community of faith with diversity at all levels, welcoming ALL, living out the gospel as a community, one in Christ, reconciling - even though I did not yet know what that meant!.
When I had been at Grace Church less than a year, I was trying to describe this community to my cousin and could not exactly get it right. Shortly thereafter, he came to worship. As he was leaving, he said, “Well, I think Grace is the kingdom of heaven!”
Four years later, on the Sunday of the Baptism of our Lord, when Bishop McKee was preaching, his wife Joan, seeing all the diversity and humanity coming forward to take holy communion, leaned over to our district superintendent and said, “Well, this is like the kingdom of heaven!”
And so it is. I treasure every day here and will for these next two plus months. On July 1, with great joy, I will pass the baton to someone whose passion for the mission field is like mine and certainly matches the mission field of Grace Church. The Rev. Jonathan Grace is coming to Grace Church! I know Jonathan well; after all, he lived right next door to Grace at the Bonhoeffer House for many years and was house pastor for part of that time. I am thankful to our Staff-Pastor Relations Committee for their good work and to the North Texas cabinet for making such a well-matched appointment. I am thankful to Jonathan’s wife Rachel and their daughter Elora. They will serve Grace well and with all their hearts!
If you want to experience love and acceptance and live out the gospel, come to Grace Church any Sunday. You will not be disappointed. I hope you, too, will recognize “the kingdom of Heaven!” Thanks be to God for Grace Church and for Jonathan, Rachel and Elora!