Nearly 3 years ago I wrote my first column in your online news. This was a section from that column:
“I am a strong believer in ‘church’ being a joyful as well as serious experience.
Laughter and delight is a powerful antidote to the feelings of powerlessness and
despair that can come creeping into our lives otherwise. I hope we’ll be able to
experience some joyful and spontaneous moments as we begin our work.”
Well, I still think that sentiment is true for us all. Laughter and joy are still with you as Westsiders but the utter seriousness of these times can make joyful repose less certain and sometimes leading to guilt.
Was there joy and laughter at Westside these last years? Of course. The congregational dinners, covenant groups, Sunday services, and many other occasions brought times of laughter. Board meetings last year were very serious but an unknown benefactor left messages of support and small gifts of nuts, candies, etc. for us on board meeting nights. A special thank you to whomever that person was. It made our difficult meetings far more joyful than we could have imagined.
I was at a small dinner gathering at Candy Sullivan’s home the other evening. Someone mentioned that they appreciated my routine of thanking people during Sunday services. One example: the AV crew who are so on top of the many tasks that create a successful service.
So, this is my last column before I end my time with you. I want to thank each and every one of you at Westside leaving none out. You’re all strong, powerful, passionate lovers of what the world can become at its best. I hope you will all take time to laugh and create moments of incandescent happiness for one another. May you and Christopher have a long and enriching marriage of ministry.
May we all be blessed,
Rev. Alex Holt, Accredited Interim Minister