Deep Roots Capital Campaign Reflection by Claire Irwin
As we continue to raise the funds required to build our new church with the Deep Roots Capital Campaign, members of the campaign Prayer Team will be blogging on subjects like gratitude and giving, Christian stewardship, and why St. Julian's is an important place in their lives and why then they are participating in the campaign. We hope this reflection will inform your own choice to participate in the campaign. Our success will come from everyone joining in together. Our second reflection is from Claire Irwin. Enjoy!
"In 2019 I was looking for a new church home after moving to Georgetown when I visited St. Julian’s for the first time. I sought a community of faith that was open and welcoming and found that when I visited St. Julian’s. I immediately felt welcomed and like I had been attending services at St. Julian’s for years. As I have settled into life at St. Julian’s, I have continued to feel drawn to the welcoming presence of the community, the drive to keep worship both respectful and inventive, and the commitment to outreach.
I feel that God is constantly calling us to return to his/her/their presence. I often have an image of us sitting in a room with God. We live our lives feeling the whole range of emotions and experiencing happy and challenging times. God is there with us through all it and is calling us to reach out. So, finding a community that encourages members to be active participants in the liturgical and social life of the church is important. St. Julian’s is a place where all members are invited to active participation in church life. Members are given the opportunity serve in the way that best fits their talents and encouraged to explore new talents. I think that is a wonderful example of what church should be.
One of the passages that I have always connected with comes from Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” This passage is the inspiration for a song that I grew up singing in the Catholic Church, “Be Not Afraid” by Bob Dufford, S.J. The song and this passage outline one of God’s roles in our lives which is to be with us always whether we are experiencing pain, fear, joy, excitement, or sadness. The unknown can be scary but knowing that God is with us brings me peace and helps me to move forward. Over the past couple of years, I have found myself relying on this passage a great deal. I find comfort in knowing that God is always walking with us, and St. Julian’s helps to remind us of this. Whether I have attended services in person or virtually I have found a place of peace and welcome. Having different members of the clergy and of the church call and check on me during the early parts of the pandemic was truly meaningful and reminded me that we are not alone. God and our church family is always there.
Now we have the opportunity to spread our reach to a wider community and be a source of welcome and peace to others. How can we stand with others in their fear, sadness, and joy? Providing a permanent positive, affirming, and welcoming place for the community to worship and reach out to the community is a good start. As we move forward with the Deep Roots campaign it will take the involvement of the whole community to realize our vision whether through time, talent, treasure or prayer."
For more info on participating in the Deep Roots Capital Campaign, click here.