Sept-Oct 2017 Pastors Letter

Dear Friends,

By the time you are reading this Vista I will have started on my Sabbatical, thanks to your kindness and care for me as your Pastor. Meister Eckhart, great saint of the church, one said: "If they only prayer you say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough!" I find myself saying: "Thank you" over and over to God for this gift and for all of you, who so generously bestowed it upon me. 

           There is no doubt I will miss you and feel the absence of the many ways our lives interact day after day. You likely remember the story at the end of John's gospel of Thomas, or as some call him "Doubting Thomas." The story goes that after Jesus'

death and resurrection, he made assorted appearances to his disciples, but poor Thomas missed out. He wasn't there the first time the others saw him. He heard the reports, I am sure they were animated and lively recounts of their encounters with Jesus; but he wasn't there. Thomas missed out! 

            I was talking with a friend recently and we were discussing this idea of 'missing out' on something. She said: "I hate to miss out on things and hear about them later." She went on to say: "You know this syndrome has a name” (and she laughed) – “It's called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) Syndrome! I have FOMO," she said. We began to laugh and I thought to myself, ‘I think I have FOMO, too.’ 

            There is no question in my mind or heart that the Sabbatical team, your Elders (and the Commissions they chair), your Deacons, and Staff (Fran, Carrie, Kathie and Rich) have worked faithfully alongside of me to create an amazing combination of preachers, studies, activities and After Church opportunities for the Sabbat-ical time. You are in good hands, for you are in God's hands led by an amazing group of gifted leaders and staff!  My only problem is my FOMO Syndrome: I know I will miss out on little things, ordinary things, and yes, likely even a momentous ones in your lives and at Green Mountain Presbyterian Church. The Sabbatical team is creating a space where you can leave me notes to read when I return home. Please write down some of the things that happen while I am away that you want me to know -  even if they seem somewhat ordinary to you, I will relish reading about them and experiencing them second-hand. 

            I look forward also to hearing when I return about the ways that God has shown up for you and in our church family. I believe that God is going to use this Sabbath learning time for all of us to play new music in and through us. Joyce Rupp says this beautifully in her poem "Instruments of God" about a small wooden flute:


        A small wooden flute, an empty, hollow reed, rests in her silent hand.

        It awaits the breath of one who creates song through its open form.

        My often-empty life rests in the hand of God; like the hollowed flute

        It yearns for the melody which only Breath can give.

        The small wooden flute and I  -  we need the one who breathes;

        We await one who makes melody,

         And the one whose touch creates awaits our empty, ordinary forms,

         So that the song-starved world may be fed with golden melodies.

                                       Joyce Rupp, Instruments of God  from May I Have This Dance  

                             @1992: Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame  IN


"Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen" (3:20-21)


With  great hope,


Pastor Gretchen