Lisa Zaina M.Div.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would be an Assistant Rector in a parish in Connecticut, I never would have believed it. But here I am happily writing an update from St. Mark’s Episcopal Parish in New Canaan, Connecticut. I am so very thankful that I was asked to consider this opportunity because it was not something that I would have had on my radar screen. I have people at Yale Divinity School to thank for recommending me to the Rector and the then Senior Assistant Rector, otherwise I would not have known of the richness of parish ministry. As one who has now experienced a little over half a year of such ministry, I am a firm believer that parish ministry provides a critical foundation for a priest’s ministry, however it evolves over the years. The ins and outs of parish ministry are a rich blessing and an amazing education. Someone once asked me if I could describe parish ministry, and I referenced the plate spinner from the Ed Sullivan Show. But unlike the expert plate spinner, I do drop some on occasion. I move from pastoral care, to vestry meetings, to planning for events for newcomers, among other things. Each day brings a new wrinkle, and ripple. One thing that will always stay with me is the faith of the community. One day I received an email from some parishioners who were moving into a home, the walls of which had known some great sadness. They asked if I could bless the house the next day. I had never blessed a house before and prepared that night in order to meet them early in the morning. We blessed each room, even using the Epiphany blessing. They were so very thankful and felt that the home would provide happy times for them. I was deeply touched by this and as I was traveling to Philadelphia by train later that morning, I couldn’t quit thinking about them. I received a text from them with a picture of the tracks that my tires had left in the snow when I departed. There were two hearts. Although another friend of mine said that I should practice my three point turns, my parishioners knew that God had smiled upon them that day. This opportunity has been a beautiful gift.
New Canaan, Connecticut
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