I have always thought about questions like these, but I got more serious about them after the birth of our two children, Charlie and Sierra. How could Jeremy and I navigate such important questions, parenthood, and family life without a common language, set of traditions and a community to help guide our way? When we settled in Palo Alto 10 years ago, we shopped around and considered what church would be right for our family. We quickly and easily settled into the warm, open, relaxed, down to earth and accepting environment of St. Mark’s. My Grandmother, Gladys, had been a member here for almost 20 years. When Grandma died, I was in Palo Alto to organize her memorial and spent time meeting with Richard Peterson who was going to lead the service. His kind, gentle and generous demeanor was my first, and lasting impression, of St. Mark’s.
As a family around the dinner table, in preparation for the Stewardship Drive (and writing this short piece), the four of us started listing all the things we love about St. Mark’s. It is an important process, to reflect on all the things we are grateful for and to appreciate why we are part of this community. All these things which we love, happen because of people’s effort and financial generosity. How can we help make these good things happen? How much can we contribute this year? What skills or talents have we been blessed with, that we can share?
Thank you, to everyone, for all you do to make St. Mark’s such a wonderful place. A place which helps us to consider the tough questions. A place where we can all come, which inspires us to be the best people we can be.