Dear All Saints’ Family,
Greetings and love from Dayton! After spending the past 16 years of my life in central Florida, I have picked up and moved to southwestern Ohio. As part of a scholarship program called SMART, I got a job at the Air Force Base here, doing Data Analytics. I feel very blessed to have a job that uses my Math degree and Statistics minor.
I am writing to give you all a life update and let you know how much I truly miss All Saints’. Growing up in such a vibrant, authentic congregation under the pastoral care and leadership of Fr. Reid, Fr. Al, and our phenomenal diaconate and vestry has been a true blessing, and one I think I took for granted. The search for a comparable church in my new home is difficult and far from over. Thankfully, God has surrounded me with welcoming Christians. At one of the churches I’ve visited, I was invited to join a small group of five or six young couples who meet for Bible study and fellowship at a home not far from my apartment. This group has been such a blessing: so welcoming, loving, and prayerful in my time of transition. At work, one of the senior analysts offered to pray for any need I had and told me he is working to re-start an informal weekly devotional and fellowship breakfast with the other Christians in our office. I know God has me in the palm of His hand, and I pray He will reveal to me where He wants me to make my home in His Church.
One of the reasons this quest has been challenging is that few churches take Biblical education as seriously as All Saints’ does. Most churches I’ve visited have only one Sunday school class for adults and perhaps one Bible Study and/or Evening Prayer service during the week. This has been a hard pill to swallow, after the rich experience of All Saints’ Parish Academy. This summer, I joined Fr. Reid’s Wednesday evening class on Donald G. Bloesch’s book, A Theology of Word and Spirit. The class itself was wonderful, but my takeaway was really for the Parish Academy as a whole: the quality of instruction at All Saints is incredible! Fr. Reid and all the Parish Academy teachers are passionate about sharing God’s Word, and sharing the work of other teachers and theologians. There is so much to learn, and a wealth of knowledge available at All Saints’ that I think few of us realize. So take advantage of it! If any of you has been hesitating to sign up for a class, please take a leap of faith! I truly believe you can’t go wrong with any of the offerings. For the price of a book and a couple of hours a week, you will be building your faith through understanding, or laying a foundation for a new faith or new aspect of your faith. I have found that my time in Parish Academy this summer has been invaluable in helping me transition to a new part of my life. I am confident you will find similar blessing and enrichment in the Parish Academy!
In the meantime, I am so thankful for your prayers. I thank God that I grew up in a community of rich faith and learning, which has given me the groundwork to pursue the knowledge and love of Christ. If you’d like to say hello, please reach out to Donovan Dolde for my contact information. I hope to see you all very soon, and pray your peace and wisdom till we meet again.
Sophia C Morrell