Clergy Notes – December 3, 2021

Dear Truro Family,

What a delight it was to welcome Bishop Martyn Minns, his wife Angela, and their daughter Rachel last Sunday. Those of you who were with us will agree that his stories of the remarkable things that God did during his tenure as Truro’s rector were very inspiring. His after-lunch talk addressed “Why bad things happen to good churches.” We’ll post it on our website soon. The leadership team met with the Minns on Tuesday, and we were encouraged and challenged by our conversation.

Please take time to read the important updates below from Sue Hardman, and from Coleman Tyler.

With gratitude,

Dear Truro family,

When we were children, our parents taught us to “stop, look and listen, before we crossed the street. Use our eyes, use our ears, and then our feet.” Why did they teach us this little rhyme? So, we wouldn’t get run over by a car while we were crossing the street! 

As we enter Advent, we enter a season of stopping and waiting. Not like waiting in the DMV line but waiting like a child on Christmas morning.  Advent comes with a tension all its own. We are to stop and take time to reflect on our own sinfulness. “Jesus came into the world to save sinners!” That’s me and you and everybody else in the world. At the same time, in this season of stopping and waiting and reflecting on ourselves; we also reflect on the coming of Jesus, both celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus and Jesus the coming King of Kings. While we are sorry and broken hearted because of our sin, we are at the same time waiting in joyful expectation of the coming of Jesus at the end of all time!  

How do we do both? And at the same time?  

First, we stop! We take time out of our busy day to stop to spend time with God. Set aside time to read scripture, pray, read a great book, listen to music or a podcast. Spend time in silence or take a quiet day. Stop being busy and filling time with useless mundane acts of nothingness There will be a time of quiet and soaking prayer in the chapel on Sunday, December 14, from 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. closing with Eucharist. Stop and spend time with God. 

Second, we look at the state of our soul. How well is my soul with God? Where do I need to repent, repair, restore, or reconcile with others or with God? Take time to take a deep and reflective look. Look around, is there a place where you might serve God by helping others? Look to scriptures for the presence of God. Look for what God is saying to you at this time and in this place.  Look around you where are you thankful and grateful for God’s graciousness in your life?  

Third, we listen. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:29). God calls us to listen to the Spirit. Further, brothers and sisters, we are the church! Both individually and corporately we are God’s glorious bride, the Church. We are to listen to the Spirit God as God tells us what we are to do for our souls and for the soul of our church.

Listening is hard in a world that is topsy turvy and full of attention-grabbing noise. We have to encourage our spirits to join with God’s Spirit so we can listen to God and not the world.  

Advent is a time to stop, look and listen before we step into the coming year. Why do we do this simple exercise during Advent? So, we won’t get run over by the world in the coming year! This Advent we are encouraged to stop our busy agendas to spend time with God, listen for God’s voice, and look for the presence of God in our life.  

Blessings on your Advent journey.  

A word from Coleman Tyler
Dear Truro Family,

The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “to everything there is a season…” The past 13 ½ years of ministry at Truro has been a wonderful, God-given season for Susan and me.  As you know, in June we relocated from Fairfax to our Chesapeake Bay home, which began a new season of life and friendships here, while at the same time returning to Truro two weekends a month for ministry. I’m so grateful for this season of gentle, gradual transition.

But now with a new year soon beginning, it seems right that the time has come for a new season to begin for us, planting us fully here in beautiful Mathews, VA.  And so my last weekend at Truro will be in two weeks, the 18th and 19th. On Saturday the 18th, we’ll enjoy a very festive Seniors Christmas Banquet – to which anyone of any age is invited! I’ll take a moment there to reflect on these past 13 years of life and ministry at Truro, and express my gratitude to God and all of you for this great season of life.

Then on Sunday morning (19th) at our three services Mary and my beloved clergy colleagues will pray a blessing on Susan and me, and we’ll also have a chance for conversation and hugs over light refreshments in between the 9 & 11:15 a.m. services.   We’d love to see you on that Fourth Weekend of Advent.

I am sure that I will be back from time to time in the New Year, 2022. So this will not be a final good-bye, but it will mark the end of a wonderful season of life and ministry Susan and I have shared with you all.  Our deepest love and thanks to all of you for all you have meant to us these past many years, forming a bond that will continue for many years to come.   

So… over the next couple of weeks we will not say “good-bye,” but “God-speed”…. remembering that a new year, with new gifts of God, will soon be here!

With Love and Gratitude,
Rom. 15:13

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