Dear Friends in Christ,
The summer of 2020, I took a road trip with my brand new to me family, across the country from Nevada to North Carolina. It was a bit of a stressful adventure marking a time of immense change in my life and the life of the world. Camping along the way to minimize exposure as much as possible, I journeyed with my then boyfriend and his three children to meet my parents.
On the drive home, our last night of our cross-country adventure, we camped in northern Arizona. The next morning, we awoke around 4 a.m., packed up our tent, grabbed a quick bite from McDonald’s, and made it to the Grand Canyon about thirty minutes before sunrise. The indigo sky speckled with stars was fading, while a light in the eastern distance grew slowly. The vast expanse before me began shrouded in darkness, and moment-by-moment the colors shifted, transforming from dark purple, to magenta, and to pinks with orange hues creeping in. Then as the sun broke, golden light cascaded over the horizon lighting up every crevice still hidden in shadows, and the canyon glowed.
I was so content standing in wonder and awe of God’s good creation with my family gathered around me. My children’s mouths open as they themselves basked in the borealis before our eyes. Covered in days of desert dust, eyes still caked with sleep, it was magnificent.
I wouldn’t trade any one of those moments—from the beginning shrouded in darkness and waiting in expectation anticipation, to watching the sun break over the horizon, to leaving together, connected in a new way, hearts overflowing from witnessing such grandeur.
Upon this twelfth day of Christmas, transitioning fast to the feast and season of Epiphany on January 6th, we sit in that place of both darkness and light. We have said goodbye to a beloved rector of over twenty-six years. We have just come down from the joy of the holiday season. We are entering the depths of winter with a possible snowstorm on the way. And we also see glimmers of light breaking over the horizon with the near arrival of an interim rector, an upcoming ordination of our friend, Emily Given on January 13th, and the continued faithfulness and diligence of our discernment committee.
Change is happening quickly here at St. David’s. Each moment gone in the blink of an eye, yet each one as beautiful as the next. This season of Epiphany is one when we witness a transformation in Jesus himself. After this Sunday, we will no longer hear stories about the little baby in a manger, but instead our lectionary is full of epiphanies, of “aha!” moments, when we discern and discover who Jesus is called to be in this world. Each moment is beautiful. Each moment is illuminating. Each moment is awe inspiring if we just show up and are present to the transformation right before our eyes.
In the next few months, it will be tempting to rush ahead to the full sunrise—to spring, to Easter, to the calling of a new rector. It will be tempting to only think of the future outcome. However, I invite us to lean into this moment, perhaps to lean into the darkness… that is not really dark at all—it is speckled with stars, with moments of illumination, with the possibility of transformation. If we do lean into this season of transition, what epiphanies might happen? What might we learn about ourselves, our community, and our God in the process? How might God leave us connected in new ways, overflowing with joy and abundant love for our next chapter together?
The Rev. Sarah Dunn