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Dear People of St. Michael’s,

I’m writing on a limpid fall afternoon, the sun falling soft and golden while the birds sing…and the jackhammers pound. Sirens are rushing by, cars are honking their way down the street, a passing e-bike has its reggaeton music turned up loud. And drills, saws, hammers, and more are banging away in our Parish House. New York has never been louder.

It’s hard these days to find the still small voice of calm. Excitement, yes, buzz, and the feeling of coming ‘back.’ But also anxiety, as we worry over the big issues and adjust to being with one another again. We could all use some replenishment for our spirit’s journey.

St. Michael’s is a place for such replenishment. This year more than ever, we are looking to bring people together. Not just together with one another for social events, though that’s one thing we all seem hungry for. But bringing us together with God, with our deepest self in God, with the deepest selves of others around us. What we do here matters, in the quiet of worship, the shared thrill of song, the laughter around the table; the food we share with all who come, the gathering and teaching with friends and neighbors of all ages. All of that is funded by our giving. We all need grace, and we have grace to share.

In our family as in many of yours, we are tightening our spending in some areas of our lives, knowing that other areas must take priority. For us, that includes the now ridiculously expensive airfare for our daughter’s school breaks and our trips to care for our aging mothers out West. We continue to place a priority on giving, however, knowing that we aren’t the only ones feeling the stress. We know that we are fortunate and have more than enough for what is really essential. We can trust in God for that.

Normally we try to increase our pledge each year. This year we will begin with a pledge of $1200 a month. We plan to reevaluate as we go along, and if circumstances change, we hope to increase that number. And we will continue our modest giving to other causes and organizations we care about as well.

I hope you also will seriously and thoughtfully consider your giving to St. Michael’s this year. Share the grace that God has given you, as we share the grace of this community with those around us.

The Reverend Katharine Flexer