By Father Casey Shobe
I’m excited about 2020. I hope you are, too. In these first few days of a new year and new decade, I am praying that you can glimpse good things ahead of you, which fills your heart with excitement about what is in store.
My excitement begins at Transfiguration. Later this spring we’ll mark the 50th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, which makes this year the perfect time to set about preserving our beautiful campus for decades to come! I’ll have more to say later this month about the capital campaign, but the short of it is that our feasibility study last fall came back with a positive recommendation, which means we can confidently move ahead with our plans to be faithful stewards of our facilities, and in so doing, strengthen our church’s mission and ministry for generations.
I’m excited by all the new people in our church, and I can’t wait to see how they engage and make an impact this year. Last year was a banner year for both visitors and new members, which is a sign of health and vitality.
I’m excited about the pilgrimages that will happen this year, including another Civil Rights Pilgrimage in March (there’s still a few slots available – contact Dana Jean if you’d like to join us), a pilgrimage by our high school youth to Scotland in the summer, and a pilgrimage to Oberammergau, Germany in the fall. Holy travel is always a blessing, and I can’t wait to see how all these pilgrims return home inspired and transformed.
I’m excited about our formation schedule this year, and the topics we’ll explore in all sorts of classes and programs. The Lenten program, in particular, is shaping up to be another incredible series.
I’m excited about several ideas Anne Schmidt has in the works to help us become more comfortable and confident evangelists.
I’m excited about some initiatives the Outreach Committee is preparing to engage even more people in hands-on service ministries.
I’m excited that, thanks to an extremely positive response to our “Growing Our Future” stewardship campaign, finalizing the budget will be an energizing process and we will have funds to provide for some new things this year!
Yes, I’m excited, because I am hopeful for what will happen in the 2020s – at Transfiguration, in our city and country and world, and in my own life. I am no prophet, but I have a sense that by the end of the decade, we will have made real improvements on some of the biggest challenges we’re facing as a society. I have hope: that the world will be safer, healthier, better preserved, and more just in 2029 than today.
May God bless us and keep us, and may we follow the way of Jesus into all the exciting (and also some not-so-exciting) events of 2020.
Fr. Casey became the fourth rector of Transfiguration in October 2014 after having served churches in Rhode Island and Houston. He is married to Mtr. Melody Shobe, also an Episcopal priest, and they have two daughters, Isabelle and Adelaide. Fr. Casey grew up in Temple, Texas, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. His Master of Divinity was earned at Virginia Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry at the School of Theology at the University of the South (Sewanee). He loves playing golf, road cycling, hiking, brewing beer, and working in his yard. You can contact Father Casey by email.