Pastor’s Message | January 2020

But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)

          When I served at my first parish in Upstate New York, I encountered a question that was asked in a way that I had not heard before. In order to get to know me better the folks I met would ask, “Who are your people?” Assuming that they were asking about my family, I would tell about my parents, my brothers and their families, and about the home I grew up in in Pennsylvania. Over time, the story of “my people” would also come to include them.

          As others come into the orbit of our life, they help to shape us and put us into a context, and may even affect the trajectory of our path. This is true in solar systems and galaxies, and it is true for human beings. Some bonds are so strong that they follow you for a lifetime; others may be brief and forgotten, or momentary yet unforgettable. How many people are there in your life by your choice, and how many simply happened?

          We have been passing through what we call the “Holiday Season,” and while Christmas Day may now be past, the celebration continues. I hope that you have had the opportunity to gather with loved ones in these holy days for celebration and feasts. I am not just talking about those which take place in your home, but also here at Grace. While you may be celebrating with your people at the dinner table, you and your people are also invited to celebrate Eucharist (which is Greek for “Thanksgiving”) at the table of Our Lord. Look around each of these tables and you may see people whom you have chosen to be in your life, and others who have arrived over time, or those who were here long before you came. Realize that well before we were conscious or even existed, that God had already chosen us, has already invited us to come and celebrate with Him.

          It has always been God’s desire that we might dwell together as God’s people, bound together by the gravitational pull of His love. Through Christ we are made a people, in Him we are included, and because of Him we gather at the table and give thanks, together.

I am glad that we are God’s people together in Grace.

Pastor Leslie M. Richard




Pastor Leslie M. Richard