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Rector's Message

Rev. Beth FrankThe Rev. Beth Frank is a recent graduate of Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  She was ordained a (transitional) deacon in June, 2013, and was ordained to the sacred order of priests on December 6, 2013 - St. Nicholas Day.  She has been appointed by the bishop to serve New Life as Priest-in-Charge.


Two Sunday afternoons a month, I lead an afternoon communion service at Altercare at Nobles Pond. Attendance used to range from 3 to 15. I use the past tense because one of the stalwarts, Betty, died last week.

Betty always had a smile on her face and was sat front and center for the service. Her daughter sometimes joined as well. Sometimes Betty would pick the hymns out of the large print hymn book. When Betty picked the hymns, I knew everyone would join in to make a joyful noise. It wasn’t that Betty picked the best hymns or the hymns everyone liked, but her warm smile encouraged everyone to join in the chorus.

While I’m saddened that Betty will no longer join us for those services and pick our hymns, what weighs more heavily on me was Betty’s daughter quietly disclosed that Betty’s church had abandoned her when she went to Altercare. As I listened to the emotions flowing, I recognized how challenging it can be to maintain relationships when individuals either move away or become homebound or for various reasons simply cannot make it to church on a regular basis. I wonder whether anyone currently feels that New Life has abandoned them.

On Ash Wednesday we are invited to observe a Holy Lent by “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 265) I think Betty’s daughter has given my first area for self-examination and repentance. I give thanks for the warmth of Betty’s smile which will lead me on my journey through Lent.