I have all these things on my “To Do” list that need attention but have been put on the shelf for months until I have free time, like clearing out the rest of Father Singer’s things, cleaning out lots of file cabinets that have over 30 years of accumulation, cleaning out the attic and sorting what needs to be saved and what needs to be dumped, and doing the same with corners of the basement. The there are the more fun things living giving the three dogs a much needed bath, taking care of the garden and the Father Singer Memorial Park and getting the Gazebo we have been planning for over a year, and make a dress for my niece’s wedding in Atlanta on August 13. (That means I will not be here for our Parish Picnic this year. I regret that but life often demands tough choices.)
My important message today is to say thank you to each of you for making my 50 years at Nativity years of real joy and happiness. I do not believe there is a place in the world that I could have been happier. You have indeed been a love filled community for me, always there when I needed anything, a helping hand, a bit of advice, a calming spirit when I was frazzled, or doing the many things you do on committees, or for parish activities or programs, often without even being asked. As I leave, I just ask that you never lose that spirit. Keep Nativity’s light shining for the community. That can only happen if each of you does what God calls you to do whenever God calls.
As I look back at Mr. Kelly’s life and the celebration of his life three weeks ago, I see a perfect example of what we are and can always be. The celebration showed that we are a loving, caring community; a community that Mr. Kelly helped to form. If one person, Mr. Kelly, could touch the lives of so many people of all ages and backgrounds, so deeply, in so many different ways, each of us can do likewise. It was also a reminder that as many of those who were parish pillars over the years and are now gone home to their eternal reward, others need to step up and take over. Many of our elders who are still here are tired and in need of someone else stepping up and taking on the responsibilities. We saw an example of that at the Mother’s Day breakfast and need to see more occasions like that. Pick up where they left off or do your own thing.
It is easy to say, “I could not do that. I do not know what to do, or how to do it.” If you get an idea, share it with someone. Start with the staff. Share it with others you think would share your passion and help it to become a reality.
Together we can keep Nativity’s light shinning. It will require each and every one of you, but I know you can and will do it.