There is obvious grace and then there is quiet grace. Obvious grace we notice in athletes and dancers. Quiet grace is more widespread, but flies under the radar. Who do you know who exhibits quiet grace? Grace that doesn’t draw attention to itself but exists naturally. A person who is easy to be with, a person you are drawn to because you feel at ease in their presence. The person is not necessarily a quiet person, yet there is spaciousness and humility about them while they are adept at being themself.

We have had the great good fortune to receive the ministry of Rev. Jim Foti during our Senior Minister’s sabbatical. A person of grace—easy to be with, spacious and humble, yet fully himself and even a bit gregarious! Jim’s ministry with First Church, though time-limited, made an important contribution to our community. His wisdom, humor, intelligence, and ability to make quick connections with people were a gift and a grace. His work helped me, Rev. Kimberlee, and our staff carry our extra workload with more ease and joy. I hope you will join me and the sabbatical team at Rev. Jim’s good-bye reception during coffee hour on Sunday, July 9 at 11:00 a.m. (of course, there will be cake!)

Lay leaders who shape programs and member-ministries at First Church are another source of quiet grace. I’d like to thank Robert Szymanski for continuously serving as a small group facilitator for 21 years! Robert helped form our Chalice Circle program in 2002, served as a CC facilitator for many years, then helped reshape it into Theme Circles in 2018 and served as a TC facilitator through this spring. As he retires from this leadership role, Robert said, “I don’t need appreciation because the work is the appreciation—it’s about the people who encourage us to be authentic.” It’s this kind of graceful leadership that permeates our congregation and lifts us when we need it.

Rev. Dena McPhetres
Associate Minister

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