Welcome Back

As I walked into the room I was met with boisterous greetings.

It felt a lot like a “Cheers” moment—a moment where everybody knows your name.

And in fact, they all did know my name, and so much more!

I grew up in a small farming town in Washington state. My parents were professionals in the community and very civically engaged. People knew them, and also knew their “spirited” Prior boys. We were unequivocally the classic “it takes a village” kids. So this last Friday evening when I walked into the restaurant in my hometown with my two older brothers, everyone did know our names.

The occasion for our gathering was an all-class gathering the night

before my high school reunion. While I know there are some who are not big fans of class reunions, mine feel like a family reunion.

You see, I went to school from kindergarten through high school with most of the same kids. There are a whole host of people in this circle that I have known my entire life. So when the call goes out that we are gathering, people show up.

Truth be told, I am as big a fan of class reunions as my family reunions. I really

enjoy the opportunity to reconnect and hear what people are doing and how they are doing. While I appreciate the level of ongoing connectedness that Facebook offers, there is nothing like being able to sit around a table and share the stories of our lives in person.

In the coming days, many of our faith communities in ECMN will be promoting

“Welcome Back Sundays” or some variations thereof. And while I am very aware that many of the faithful never take a summer break from attending, these gatherings are wonderful occasions. Like class or family reunions, the beginning of our program year is a great opportunity to reconnect with others and to share the stories of our lives.

Personally, I am very excited about the beginning of the 2018-19 program year in ECMN. Incredible opportunities abound—check out this email about youth and adult formation opportunities, and click here to see what’s on the docket at the Episcopal House of Prayer. I look forward to seeing many of you at one of the ECMN offerings or gatherings in your local faith community!

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