The Annual Report: On time

The Annual Report: On time

The ancient Teacher was wise in his counsel on time. Shortly after his beautiful refrain – the same one Pete Seeger used the classic hit, Turn! Turn! Turn! – the Teacher in Ecclesiastes wrote, “God has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, God has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are rooted and grounded in time. This is our time, and it is a gift from the God of all time.

Every year at this time, all of West Raleigh’s committee chairs and sub-committee chairs sit down to write our submissions to West Raleigh’s Annual Report, which is scheduled to be released on January 25th in preparation for the Annual Meeting & Souper Bowl of Caring after worship on Sunday, February 3rd. Although there may be a few of the faithful who relish this exercise, for most of us, it is an act of love – we do it because we know we have to, and we want to do right by the church we love. Yet, once done, I am always grateful for the discipline of looking back to count the blessings, honor the challenges and give thanks for the people we have loved and lost, the births and baptisms celebrated, and the new members welcomed. So today, friends, let me take you down memory lane by naming a few of the events and people who marked 2018 at West Raleigh.

  • At the beginning of 2018, we had only ceremonially broken ground in the courtyard. At year’s end, the work is complete.
  • A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s pay-as-you-can café opened on January 8th almost exactly one year ago!
  • We said goodbye to Church Administrator Shelley Rubin and welcomed Director of Administration & Communication, Anna Richardson Raab
  • We celebrated the birth and baptism of Phoebe Ransom Jones, infant daughter of Eva & Austin Jones AND the birth of James Sawyer Evans, infant son of Margaret & Vann Evans and welcomed by his big brother, Sully!
  • We welcomed into membership Emily & Barrett Bryson, Claire Dulaney, Alyson Wilson & Woody Mace, who brings with him his wife Maureen and his son Cayden
  • Eight Saints Entered the Church Triumphant: Mary Cates, Wilma Hu, Betsy Sykes, Betty Brooks, John Brake, Douglas Haas Bennett, Polly Flowe, and Lewis Ford
  • We hosted Family Promise three times.
  • Seven youth began Confirmation Class
  • We maintained partnership with Davie Street Presbyterian Church, worshipping together once, hosting a joint meeting of the Presbyterian Women and welcoming them to Christmas Dinner & Simple Gifts

And, friends, this is just a teaser to remind us – at the beginning of a new year – that this year will bring its own blessings, challenges, lives lived, welcomed, loved and lost. This is our time, and it is a gift from the God of all time. May looking back remind us that how we live in our time matters, and may it give us the hope to live into the future with faith, courage, imagination and love.

See you in church,

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