Hello everyone! I thought I would write a note each week for our website and weekly email, at least for these first few weeks as we get to know each other.

I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful welcome you have given our family in the past few weeks. I didn’t think we could be any more excited about learning about and living in Ann Arbor, but after all the fun recommendations and gift cards, we are, indeed, even more excited to be here. The warm and joyful worship on Sunday felt like coming home. My experience coming to St. Clare’s for the interview weekend was one of deep discernment and listening for the voice of God, and afterward I said to God, “I don’t know whether you brought me here just for this weekend or for the beginning of a long stay; I feel peaceful about either way you lead us all, but I would be sad to never sing with a congregation in that space.” I am glad to have gotten to sing and worship with you all, and glad that we’ll have many chances to sing and worship together in the weeks and months and years to come.

A few answers to questions lots of folks have asked so far, since they probably aren’t the only ones wondering:

  • I prefer to be called Anne, or, if you prefer to use a title, Rev. Anne. (I generally do use Rev. Anne in more public-facing communications, as it’s always fun to blow people’s minds with the reminder that a young woman can be a clergy person!)
  • For now, I plan to work in the office most of the time. My weekend days are Fridays and Saturdays, with Saturday as the more flexible day.
  • You can contact me via email at revanne@saintclareschurch.org. I do my best to get to email pretty quickly, with the exception of Friday-Saturday when I do not check it. You are welcome to call or text in an emergency any day, or with more urgent communications during the days I’m working.
  • Isaiah will be 2 in January! We hope that a vaccine will be approved for ages 2 and up by the time his birthday rolls around. Isaiah and Myles will probably not be here every week, so that we can limit Isaiah’s exposure while he’s unvaccinated. When you do catch him, Isaiah’s top two favorite conversation topics are train gates and recycling, so you can prepare your research accordingly. 😊

Speaking of COVID, I was glad to have an initial meeting on Sunday to begin reconstituting a COVID advisory group for our congregation. This virus will be with us, in an evolving form, for a long time; we’ll likely need to continue to follow the data and make adjustments as the virus and community context evolve. There are a few things we can do to make our gatherings safer for one another. The most important by far are vaccination, including a booster if you haven’t had one, and staying home when you don’t feel well! Beyond that, you might consider upgrading your mask to a KN95, and adding at home rapid tests to your arsenal. (For example, I take a rapid test each Saturday night for an extra layer of prevention.) The tests aren’t perfect, but they are fairly effective at detecting the virus during the days you are most likely to spread it, and they are becoming much more widely available ($14 for a pack of 2 BinaxNow tests at Walmart this week, for example!)

I look forward to the chance for lots more conversations together in the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your welcome and for your trust in me in calling me as your new rector. I’m so glad to be here, and I can’t wait for all that is to come in our work together following God’s call.