generous and abundant love
Parishioner Dolly Bross Geary, her husband, Jack, and their two girls, Eloise and Hilary, have been coming to St. James' for over 10 years. Dolly recently offered her reflections on "growing up" at St. James'. Read on...
My family has been coming to St. James' for about twelve years so I really feel like I’ve grown up as an adult at this church. But reflecting on growing up at St James' makes me realize that my gratitude to this church has increased. I have a better understanding and appreciation for the the consistent welcome and beauty that St James' offers. Every Sunday, the flowers, the music, the clergy’s thoughtful sermons, the children’s education, Miss Vicki’s welcoming smile and offer of donut holes—it’s always here. When I think about my life here in gigantic and sprawling New York City, I realize that I cannot take this welcome and this beauty for granted.
The more I think about it, it reminds me of my family. A family that will always love me and welcome me regardless of what I do or how often I show up. It is the definition of generous and abundant love.
This became clear to me and to Jack on Homecoming Weekend this year. We were out of town for the weekend and it was looking like we were not going to make it back for Homecoming—we could have made it, but it would have meant forfeiting a leisurely breakfast and it would require some fairly focused (or frantic) pacing. Frankly, I wasn’t too excited about that. But when I casually mentioned to Eloise and Hilary that we were going to miss Homecoming, they both looked at me and said: "No! We have to go to homecoming! We ALWAYS go to Homecoming!"
So we did. We frantically packed, grabbed some breakfast, and drove straight to 71st Street. We missed the service but the picnic was in full swing and before I knew it, both girls hopped out of the car and got involved in the activities. As Jack and I milled about enjoying the delicious lunch prepared by Isabel, I thought: the girls were right. I’m so glad we are here. I’m so glad to be a part of this place. I am so grateful for St. James'. And this feeling of gratitude was strong enough to enable me to say yes to Mary Malhotra and to say yes, I’d talk with parishioners about stewardship, even though I really don’t love speaking in public!
So please mark your calendars for Consecration Sunday on November 13 and between now and then, I invite you to think about celebrating all the gifts that God gives to us in this life and specifically here at St. James'.