By Father Casey

Happy seventh day of Christmas, friends. I hope the blessings of this season have not quickly faded, and you continue to enjoy genuine moments of peace and gratitude every day. I hope that even in the lingering limitations of the pandemic, even if you’ve been affected by a positive COVID test, even with the supply-chain hiccups and shipping delays, even with all the things that affect our circumstances and threaten our spirits, I hope that in spite of it all, the deep joy of this season still abounds in your heart.

I want to thank all the marvelous people whose contributions of time and effort helped nearly 1,000 people in-person and many hundreds more online “repeat the sounding joy” at our Christmas Eve and Day services.

  • All the members of the Altar Guild, and especially Peter Soper, who served all four Christmas Eve services!
  • Members of the Flower Guild, led by Carolyn Lewis, Allison Murphy, and Donny Campbell
  • Joel Martinson, Kim and Chris Ahrens, and all the members of our choirs
  • Allison Blalock, Delynda Moravec, and all the volunteers and performers in our pageant
  • Kurt Smith, Richard Grant, and all our ushers
  • Anne Schmidt and all our greeters
  • Bracken Reece and the entire operations team
  • and everyone else who helped and served – God bless you everyone!

You don’t need me to remind you that the pandemic still poses a threat. This is why we retain our mask-requirement when indoors, and why we aren’t ready to resume our fellowship gatherings with refreshments quite yet. It’s also why I hope everyone who is eligible will receive their vaccine booster as soon as possible. As exhausted as we all are by this long ordeal, we must remain vigilant.

Yet, one of the most fervent of my prayers this Christmas season is that we will not forget our great need to be with each other. Emmanuel is more than a pretty word for carols and cards, and it is also about more than the Incarnation, as marvelous and essential as that is. Emmanuel is God’s promise to be with us, and the great witness of our faith down through the ages is that we experience God’s “with-us-ness” most when we are together. God is with us when we are holy companions to each other – praying and praising, serving and singing, listening and learning, and all the other sacred ways we join with each other as the Church.

So, if you’re considering any New Years’ resolutions, I hope you’ll consider a simple one: commit to taking part in the life of Transfiguration this year. You are so uniquely special that without you, our experience of Emmanuel is diminished. We are less the Body of Christ when we are missing members. We need you. You showing up and joining in is how the miracle of Christmas and the joy of Emmanuel will reverberate long after the Twelve Days end.