Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As I sit in my office on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi looking out at the beginning of autumn several thoughts come to the fore in my heart and head. We are going to be celebrating our annual Pet Sunday service on October 6. I get excited about how important this community service is to the people of East Hampton. It is a time when we wel- come people from all lifestyles, from different religious traditions to ask God’s blessings on their pets. To some it might seem foolish, but to me and to these brothers and sisters, their stewardship of this part of God’s creation is serious. For many these animals are a grounding, an ex- ample of unconditional love. They symbolize the beauty of God given into our care so that the world can be a bet- ter place. We indeed give a wonderful gift on Pet Sunday of asking God’s blessings on these animals.
The fall season is beginning to be more obvious as leaves start to change colors, and the trees begin to shed those leaves. The squirrels are scurrying to gather the fruit of the beautiful Dogwood Tree near our patio and bury them. As I look at the trees planted around the rectory, I was fearful that some of the bare limbs were dead. However, on a closer look, the buds that will burst forth into new life and growth next spring are already there. A symbol of hope as we enter the darkness and coldness of winter.
Our Christian faith calls us to hope even when things look bleak. On November 2nd we will have our All Souls’ Day service of remembrance at 10 AM in our Chapel. We remember those who have gone before us into the heavenly kingdom. As of this past week, the third member of my family has died in the past year. Beginning with my brother in-law, then my mother, and now a favorite uncle (the last of the uncles), their deaths are a falling away of parts of my life, yet each service for them brings a sense of hope for the future. For my faith in Christ, and the Lord’s resurrection, means that life for these relatives is changed, not ended.
St. Luke’s is always on the front lines
As I mourn the loss of family, members of this my congregation, friends, my faith in Jesus calls me always to look forward. To mourn does not mean an ending of a re- lationship; it means a missing of physical presence, and a challenge for me to be- gin experiencing David, Mom, and Uncle Henry in a new way. They have achieved the glory I hope to enter. I feel them in my heart and know them to be at peace. May our service on November 2 be that for you as you remember your deceased members.
Soon winter will come – snow will fall – weather will be cold – but hope is there in it all – Christmas! Our services here at St. Luke’s bring members of the community into our midst for an exciting series of wor- ship that allows us to preach the good news of God in our midst and celebrate new life when the outdoors looks like anything but life-giving. I get excited, tired, but excited by what we offer this community. I thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives during these times.
Fr. Denis +