“People So Dearly Loved by God…”

Parish Life and Your Vestry in 2020

By Steven Huprich, Senior Warden

In the 1980s, I was a member of a Lutheran church in Columbus, Ohio.  My favorite pastor there began his sermons, “People so dearly loved by God, grace and peace to you from God our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  His words remind me Father Bill’s opening sermon acclamation: “…as the beloved of God to those beloved by God….”  Both of these clergy remind us of that God is fundamentally concerned about humanity, and more specifically that He loves you and me.

We are at a tremendous point in the history of Christ Church Cranbrook.  Having known God’s love and acted in response to it, this parish has perennially embodied our four-fold vision of meeting Jesus, finding joy, sharing beauty, and serving others.  Out of this shared vision, we just successfully completed a capital campaign that has generated the means by which to improve our facilities and to more boldly embrace our vision.  We have used our time and talents well and have responded out of gratitude for the love we have felt and the loved we have shared.  I am eager to watch our building plans unfold and to embark upon the work we are called to do.  I believe CCC can have an even greater impact on our surrounding region and can show by example what God’s people can do when they live out their love for God and each other in daily acts, but more importantly, within the context of relationships.

In fact, this is a central component of what God intended when humans were created.  We experience joy and love in relationships.  As we seek to find Christ with ourselves, we also seek to find Christ in others.  When we do so, we can boldly act to listen and understand the suffering of others and to become the human body and blood of Christ to those in need.  Who among us does not know this reality?  It is those who took an interest in us, who gave something of themselves to us, that made us better than we were before we knew them.  It is my hope that the people of CCC can live out this vision to a world that is desperately in need of good news.

The vestry will begin its work soon, and we all are here to serve you and those in need.  I hope you will reach out to us, talk with us, share your concerns with us, and realize that we want to continue the mission that we were set upon over 90 years ago.  Especially as we start to imagine change coming and the old being transformed into something new, remember that we are here collectively to love and serve God.  Fortunately, our traditions will remain unchanged, and our vision will be clearer and stronger.  May we know more fully what it means to exist within the communion of saints and to be a light that cannot be hidden on a hill.