A few weeks ago, one of the candidates for Rector asked the Search Committee to describe the greatest challenge facing Grace Church. I'd like to share my own answer.
Look at what we are called to do. Worship upward, education inward, and social action outward: all need lots of resources. Every resource you can name comes through people. Any possible issue, from stewardship to property to teacher recruiting is solved with a robust and spirited congregation. (That would do pretty well to describe Grace today.)
Nineteenth century horse-and-buggy makers didn't go out of business because people stopped needing transportation. They went out of business because they didn't adapt to fulfill people's needs as the world changed.
We are committed to Grace because we hold that human needs haven't changed, and we are challenged to meet those needs in a busy, broadly secular environment. We seek a large, broad, deep membership. Not just to balance our budget or fill committees - all those things are "added unto us" as a natural consequence of a lively congregation.
No, we want to grow in abundance and relevance because that's the nature of Grace Church. The next three weeks bring reminders of the deepest and strongest things that our lives and our lively God are about. Thank you all for sharing your overflowing liveliness with me, and with everyone who walks in our doors.