December 11, 2021
Dear St. PJ’s community,
This past Thursday at St. PJ’s, we held a memorial service for our dear Jill Strawn. It was a beautiful, touching, and inspiring remembrance of Jill. All of those attending were able to sit comfortably while physically distanced, thanks to our new flexible seating with movable pews and chairs. Dozens more tuned in to our live-streaming of the service on our Facebook page. Following the service, a simple yet elegant reception was held in our Parish Hall, with a jazz soundtrack floating above.
Such a service and reception, that are moving, flowing and seamless, happen only with careful planning and execution. From addressing our parking challenges, arranging seating, securing catering, baking and bringing desserts, to setting-up and taking down the live-stream equipment, it was truly a parish-wide effort. Thanking all of the individuals who contributed to pulling it together would essentially require typing out the parish directory. We do need to especially thank Will, Drew, and Tiffany for the incredible music program and their performances. Also our amazing administrator, Crystal Gooding for producing 3 different programs in 2 days, and Sammy Rodriguez, our dependable sexton.
While a memorial service is by its very nature a retrospective, this was also a celebration of life. We celebrated Jill’s amazing life, loves, accomplishments and contributions. But this was also a demonstration and celebration of our Parish life, our strength, our vitality, and our commitment.
Experiencing this type of service in the midst of the “Joy and Cheer” of the Christmas season keeps us in touch with the fact that our lives don’t always unfold according to plan. Many of us have experienced loss this past year, as well as stress, anxieties about the pandemic, loneliness and isolation. On Thursday, December 16th, we will hold a Blue Christmas service at 7:30 pm. This service provides us with a place to bring those feelings, acknowledge them, and lift them up to the Lord.
As we await the coming year, we know that there is uncertainty. We are anxiously awaiting the appointment of our next priest-in-charge. We wonder what direction the Covid pandemic will take. But we also are certain about many things. We are certain that we will grow, certain that we will stay strong, and certain that we will keep moving in the direction that Harlon pointed us. It is truly a blessing to be a member of this Parish, and all one has to do is walk through the doors, or log on.
“Be well, be safe, hold hope, and keep the faith”
Claire, Tudy, Brian.
PJs Wardens and Vestry