This month it is particularly difficult to know where to begin.
I could talk about my experience in the Seattle Women’s March on Saturday, January 22 in which thirteen of us from QACC marched either in Seattle or in Washington, D.C.
I could describe how over 100,000 of us in the streets of downtown Seattle moved together much like a swarm of some kind, not as graceful as a flock of birds but maybe somewhat like a school of fish, like salmon pushing our way upstream against the national current, moving forward because we had to, moving together because we felt compelled to put our bodies in a particular place and time, to be counted among those who understand that love and kindness and humility are virtues to be sought after, not scorned as signs of weakness.
I could notice the timely nature of Gloria Kawabori’s talk on Sunday morning, January 29 as she recounted the experience of her family in a Japanese-American Internment camp during World War II only days after an Executive Order, promulgated by our President, cut-off the immigration of refugees who have worked for years to come to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Maybe not so much these days.
I could lift up the fine leaders of this congregation—members of the Search Committee, The AdMinistry Team, and the Elders—who, step by step, have faithfully walked through the process of calling the new Interim Pastor.
I could encourage you to come to worship on Sunday, February 5 when we will honor Barb Scamman, our volunteer Choir Director for the past seven years. With grace and a fine musicality she has guided our strong group of singers in the creation of so many moments of worship and praise. Now it is our turn to praise her gifts and express our gratitude.
And I could tell you that my final service with you before retirement will be held on Sunday, February 26 at 10am. Our Regional Minister, Sandy Messick, will lead us through this service of transition. The Rev. Rebecca Hale, Vice-President of the National Benevolent Association for Mission and Ministry (the social service arm of our denomination), will be our guest preacher. The choir will sing that morning and a reception will follow the service.
But what I really want to tell you is this: I love you. I love the community we have created together. Much like a marriage we persisted when it would have been easy to quit. Through our persistence we found our hearts and minds changed as we rubbed up against each other and formed a more genuine and honest community.
Together—within and through each other—we have glimpsed the face of God, sensed the leading of the Holy Spirit, and felt the presence of Christ binding us close to his heart in love. At the end of this month I will take my leave as your pastor and in that leaving I know and trust in this truth, that the love we have shared will never leave us.
Blessings + peace,
Pastor Neil Allen
I am blessed to serve as the pastor of Queen Anne Christian Church, an amazing community of wise and thoughtful people.