Dear Ones, near and far, whether members, friends or interested followers and supporters of the life of Island United Church – this is a season to hold one another close. I hold you close in my prayers and give thanks that we are together. As I celebrate my first Christmas with you, I give thanks for the hearts and minds on the search committee which discerned my call here. I am grateful for the music of Anna and all the choir, for Machiko’s graphic skills and fine design eye, for the loyal worship support of Lee, Jan, Maritza, Peg, Helen, Paul, Shane, Alex, Odette, Ian and so many others who read and greeted, for Rowe’s incredible hospitality, and Ed’s ability to fix just about anything; for the generous hearts of Norma, Earline, Holly, and Doris, for Alexis’ great leadership, the financial acumen of Jan and Tim, and the dedication of AAF director Rita. Most of all I give thanks for all the ways God’s love shines through each one of you in this community and how truly good we are to each other. Your willingness to hear new words and dance to new music is a joy. Your open arms are a gift. In the weeks to come, those arms will open to a group of Samoan worshippers looking for a home, and led by minister Louis Vaili.
Wishing each of you a beautiful Christmas, full of unexpected gifts,