Passing the Baton

“Since we have a huge crowd of those who’ve gone before us, watching us, pioneers who have paved the way and are cheering us on…let us run with patience and perseverance in the race that is set before us…”

– Hebrews 12:1

When I was in high school, I was on the track team. My older brother Damien, a junior when I was a freshman, said: “don’t just study all the time…get on a sport.” I was athletic, enough (ahem), but not intense about sports at all. I said, “what sport should I join?” and he said, “be on track…there’s a lot of cool people on track.” Since I was a mediocre athlete and an accomplished chatterbox busybody (is there an olympic event for that?) I was on track. 

I was placed on an 800 meter relay team with 3 of the funniest, tallest girls on the team. I was…definitely the weak link. It was so obvious. And humbling. I worked hard, I let them inspire me and give me a loving but hard time, and I ran as fast as I could for my 200 meter leg of every event. I was thankful that I was neither the starter nor the finisher, thankful that I did not have to run the whole thing myself. Every single time.

Grace Church has been supported in grand and pedestrian ways by people and families recognizable as pillars of our community at church and in this town. I want to name many of them here, but I am sure I will forget someone who has shown up time and again and then offend someone, so as you read this, just let a few faces come to mind. Many of the folks who quietly and consistently do so much here at Grace are getting older, or are ready to do slightly less for a while….who will take the baton from them? If the task is well defined and easy, even short, why couldn’t it be you?

You don’t have to run the whole race, or accomplish the whole church event!

You don’t have to be the strongest runner, or have the most clear-hearted faith!

You don’t even have to help out because you are committed to the sport, many people are involved at Grace without being Episcopalian (because there are “a lot of cool people” here)!

I was not a good runner. I am still not.

I am not always the most capable person, nor do I have the skill set for half the stuff that needs my help. Yet, I know I can show up and give what I have, be who I am, make the job easier and perhaps more fun for myself and others too. 

If you are new to Grace, or not yet involved much beyond attending services…will you help out with:

  • The Pancake Supper on Tuesday, Feb 13?
  • The Grace Garden?
  • The Have a Heart Youth Fundraiser on Mar 16?
  • The Youth Chapel in the Basement?

And the many, many other small, medium and larger things we might need you for a Grace? 

Stop by, call me or email me. Let me know what you think you have the capacity for, timewise, and I’ll respect that. I really will. 

We need new folks to think about receiving the baton and running part of the race. What race? The “particular race that God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1) as a people of doubt and faith who gather to know each other, support and enjoy each other, and sustain this community and this place over time for the people who come seeking next. Community doesn’t happen without intention, focus, generosity and…runners!

Don’t be surprised if someone calls and asks you to help with a specific request! 

It won’t be the whole course, just one leg of the race. 

With love, and a whole lotta “WE got this!

Sarah Christopher, Associate Pastor