Dear Saints of Emmanuel,
Please reach out directly to me with whatever you wish to say, words of praise, words of criticism. Recognizing God’s presence in you, I will do my best to listen and honor your ideas and your feelings.
Basic Respect, Trust, and Listening are at the heart of any faithful Christian Community. One of my fundamental goals this year is to listen to you. I hope to learn your deepest heart’s desires for Emmanuel as well as questions and concerns that you might have.
We share the mission of Emmanuel Church together. We share the faithfulness of Emmanuel Church together. And we share the joys and sorrows, the victories and the frustrations together.
Some people are quite happy to come and speak directly to clergy, and you have approached me directly.
Some of you come and thank me and praise me for who I am and how I lead. Thank you.
You even praise me for the inspirational beauty that John, Jordan, and the choir share. I can’t take credit for them, and I urge you to thank them directly.
And, some of you speak up about things you miss or don’t like, about me, about Emmanuel, about our common lives together. Thank you for your respect and trust in approaching me.
I also know that there are some of you, who for whatever reason, are reluctant to approach a priest with your questions or concerns. May God help you overcome that reluctance.
I hope over time you can respect and trust that I don’t bite. I won’t hold it against you if you have things you don’t like about me and about my leadership.
However, we unnecessarily limit our growth together, if we don’t speak directly with each other. I can’t adopt new traditions and adapt myself to Emmanuel if you don’t directly approach me with your concerns.
Emmanuelites, this year I ask that you help us all enhance our basic trust, respect, and listening skills. The more direct communication we have, the more we can assess our blessings and our challenges in faithful ways. That clarity then helps us forge concrete goals and action plans so that Emmanuel can continue to evolve into the wonderful Communion of Saints God has created us to be.
Please reach out directly to me, ideally face to face, with whatever you have to say. I promise to respect you and to listen in a spirit of love.
With my prayers for you each and every day,