What a poignant moment this is! Every conversation, every meeting, every worship service reminds me of endings, new beginnings, and the beautiful ministry I have had here at First Congregational Church of San Jose over the past few years.
These last few weeks have certainly had a feeling of coming full circle about them. I remember my first experience of coming to church here in the late 1980’s— walking into the sanctuary and seeing Rev. Marcia Lapp in her robe, wearing tennies and bobby socks. I remember the 5th grade church school class I taught with Esther Coye and Dana Gilligan (what a great group of kids that was—Darin Gray, Tim Leaser, Sara Kilburn, Sarah Covey, Kris Eckhardt, Lisa Houts, and so many others!)
My first introduction to the chancel choir was singing Pie Jesu for the Rutter Requiem in 1989 (I think I have lost that boy soprano voice I used to have!) I remember serving on the Diaconate board when it had 12 men and 12 women on it (wow!), and the seven long years of working towards being Open and Affirming. I think back to that day when 18 kids showed up for the first Joyful Noise rehearsal (another wow). And it wasn’t that long ago that I played on the church softball team—ah the injuries (I mean the glory days).
Together we have gone on pilgrimages, built labyrinths, worked dreams, laughed, and wept, prayed and played together. Every moment has been a gift and a blessing to me, and I am so grateful to you all.
Black Elk said, “Everything sacred moves in a circle.” If that is so, we are on holy ground. The circle that we have created together over the years will stand us in good stead as we say goodbye in the coming days. I trust that your love goes with me, as mine stays with you.
Love and blessings,
Rev. Dawn Grace Renshaw