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Rector’s Ramblings, May 2, 2024

The Rector is fine. Several folks have raised concern about my well-being lately because, as some of you may have noticed, there was only one Rector’s Rambling in April. Although I have missed here and there over the years, it’s almost always been because of vacation or other travel. Granted, one of those weeks was the week after Easter, when we did a quick college tour, but the others have simply been calendar related. 


There are seasons to everything, and springtime is an active season in the church, just as it is in the yard. Some days gardeners work until the sun goes down for days on end, and still there are more weeds to be pulled, dead growth to be removed, plants to thin, seedlings to plant, and mulch to put down. Springtime work often takes precedent over other endeavors while the work needs done. You have to prioritize and sometimes the work that can wait simply has to wait!

Ironically, the lack of Rector ramblings is not as sign that there is trouble, per se, but a sign of growth and success in the parish. While a sparse month may have been surprising to those who actually look for the Ramblings (all seven of you!), I saw it coming. April’s calendar was unusually full – and almost entirely for good reasons. There are a number of projects and ministries in the works, new employees coming on board, three weddings in a row (with a week off this weekend before two more weddings in a row), an ordination, some acute pastoral care needs, and of course all the things that I also do with and for the family. All in all, there was a lot going on, which meant that sitting down to writeRamblings had to take a back seat.

Now, a calendar that full is not sustainable indefinitely, and I am looking forward to some vacation in July. Between now and then, things remain active: we have to get Mother Ashton off on sabbatical, wrap up the schoolyear (including celebrating a high school graduation in our house!), I will continue my studies in Sewanee, and I will represent the Diocese of Georgia at the General Convention in Louisville, KY. But, there is a respite coming, and a return to normalcy is on the horizon. Sometimes we simply go through seasons in which we have to put our head down and tackle whatever we face.


I’m grateful that my active calendar is the result of a lot of great things happening. I’m aware that seasons like this can be driven by illness, grief, loss, or any number of difficult circumstances. We all face them – there’s no way to avoid them.  There will always be seasons in which we put our heads down and prioritize our life so that we can focus on what is most pressing. Hopefully, the Church is a source of support in those times. Ideally, our faith is a source of hope, too. The phrase, “this too shall pass,” is true in the literal and cosmic sense. 


In the meantime, as we all travel through one season or another, we trusting that our labors now will reap growth and fruit in the next. We don’t get the full beauty of the garden without laboring to set the stage now and then.  So, don’t worry about me; I’m just over here doing my parish gardening, and I’m not too worried in the short term. It will be worth it! I’ll see about getting those Ramblings back to the top of the list…




Lord, thank you. Thank you that you have never left my side today, not for a second. I know I may not feel your presence, but I know the truth: you are always here for me, you are always with me. Lord, I could not have done what I did today without you. All my successes are by your grace. All my failures teach me to cling to you. All my sorrows draw me into your arms. All my joys pour over to bless others. Help me Lord, each day, to put you above all. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.


~Kelly O’Dell Stanley, on