Note from the Minister
Sightings, February 2017
The Rev. Edmund Robinson
I went back to my hometown of Columbia, SC this past weekend to attend a very special birthday party. My stepfather, Stuart Clarkson, turned one hundred. The celebration was a modest affair, in the parish hall of the Episcopal Church founded by Stuart, my parents and others in the early 1950s, which I attended through my childhood. Since my mother, his third wife, died in 2009, Stuart has continued to live on his own in the modest brick bungalow he built in the 1940s and in which he raised his five children. He still drives, and he is sharp as a tack. My brothers Allen and Gus and our sister Courtney went over to talk to him right after we had gotten there, and we were chatting when a young nephew of his came up accompanied by a woman he was dating also named Courtney. Among the small group standing there, it was Stuart who first realized and remarked on the fact that we had two people named Courtney there.
At the same time I know that most of us will not see a hundredth birthday. I am trying to minister to medical problems of several of us in the congregation. I preached a recent sermon on Love and Longevity, but there also seems to be quite an element of Luck in it as well. My stepfather has not reached his exalted age by pursuing a particularly healthy lifestyle, though he has never smoked cigarettes as far as I know. Fortune has smiled on him.
I also think about luck and longevity as we consider the survival odds of this Meeting House. Joe Zahka, our treasurer, who first raised the issue of sustainability last year, recently wrote a memo helping the Board of Trustees stay focused on the problem of how we can continue to attract new members. What I want to say to the Meeting House in general is that growth is everyone’s concern. If you notice something which you think is a turn-off for members or visitors, bring it to someone’s attention. If you have ideas for outreach projects, let me know. Let’s all try to think outside the box. Sustainability of the Meeting House, like longevity for an individual, is partly a matter of luck, but there are things we can do to encourage good luck.
By the way, Jacqueline and I will be in St. Croix, USVI from Jan. 30 through Feb. 14.
*Sightings is Edmund's monthly newsletter column, reproduced here in its entirety.