The nice thing about travel, some say, is in the homecoming. Many of us enjoyed trips this summer, even if they were merely short-day travels to a swimming pool, to grandparents’ houses, or to the beach.

If you’ve been away some during the past several months, welcome home. If you’ve been away from church, welcome back. If you’ve been staying away because you got upset or hurt or sad, or you just lost your habit during COVID, I hope you’ll see this fall as a new beginning — to return and start afresh.

Part of my summer reading uncovered a poignant thought by Parker Palmer:

“People go to church for the most private reasons, reasons of the heart.
They come bearing secret burdens and secret hopes. But in the very
act of belonging to the Church, people are making a public statement
of faith by taking part in a public community of faith. The God who speaks
in the silence of our private lives also calls us into public solidarity with
others. So, the Church can build a bridge between the private and public

As we begin this new season at Bethesda-by-the-Sea I joyfully feel a breath of exciting energy as the new rector, The Rev. Tim Schenck and his wife Bryna, prepare to start their new ministries among us. I invite you to begin this fall by treating yourself to the opportunities of worship, prayer, study and service here at our parish, and to “build some new bridges between the private and public realms” of your faith.

Bob Dannals
Interim Rector