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family-service-1This weekend, our Vestry gathered for a retreat.  Only a few things were on the agenda:  getting to know each other better (nothing like filling out some Lent Madness brackets to help you get to know someone!), defining who we are as a community, and looking forward to where we are going.  The weekend was a wonderful combination of laughter, reflection, quiet, conversation, dreaming, and planning.  I am reminded once again how blessed we are by the diverse, talented group of leaders who are helping guide our parish into its next phase of life.

One of the things we did on our retreat was to watch a video about Hickory Neck from 2004.  As a relative newcomer to Hickory Neck, it was fascinating to see so many familiar faces (don’t worry – you all still look fabulous!), to hear what was energizing the community back then, and to see what the goals and dreams were.  The video was produced to prepare Hickory Neck for a capital campaign which would support the construction of our New Chapel.  Despite the intent to raise funds, you still could hear clearly what Hickory Neck was about, and where it was going.

What I loved about watching the video was seeing how much things have changed, and how some things have not changed at all.  We are still a community of hope, joy, and belonging.  We still love to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, we are still journeying toward deeper relationship with God and our neighbor, and we still want to be beacon of light to our neighbors in need.  And yet, since the video was created, the economy has changed, technology has changed, and demographics have changed.  Our work now is listening to the new ways God is calling us to be faithful disciples to a world in need of redemption.

This is an exciting time for Hickory Neck.  These last ten months, we have been alternately jogging, sprinting, and trying to match each other’s pace.  As we wrap up this first year together, we are hitting a rhythmic stride together.  We have learned a lot more about each other, figured out how to adjust for each other’s gifts and talents, and are now getting ready to take off.  It’s an exciting time and the fun is just beginning.  If you haven’t met Hickory Neck yet, I would encourage you to come on over and check us out.  You won’t be disappointed!  And if you have been around a bit, I think you are going to be pleased to be a part of this next phase of life and ministry together.  God has great things in store!