This week’s CliffNotes is guest posted by Brian Murphy, Executive Pastor
Dear Christ Church,
Two years ago my family and I embarked on a three-day, 1650-mile journey from the cool climate of central New York to the drought ridden, 115-degree climate of Austin, Texas. So much has happened in these past two years, so many milestones we’ve celebrated together with you all — weddings, graduations, an ordination and, sadly, funerals.
Although this column is too small to include all of the lovely memories we’ve made, here’s a sample.
Shortly after arriving, we attended our first Christ Church Parish Retreat. Even though I knew that we all went on a weekend retreat together the stories I’d heard could not compare to the real thing. Our Rector, Cliff, has been known to say that one weekend at a parish retreat is worth a year of conversations after church. He’s right. My family and I felt right at home following our first retreat.
One specific memory stands out. We had not yet sold a house we owned in New York and the pressure from owning one place and renting another was beginning to mount. During a Saturday morning prayer service our new church family prayed for a quick sale. Before we left the meeting room, our realtor called with an offer from a buyer. That was amazing enough, but watching our new church family celebrate with us when we reported the event was even more memorable.
That same fall Christ Church joined churches around Austin to explore our wounds and weakness as well as how God — through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus — bestows grace enough to pull down The Walls (as the curriculum was named) that stand between us. Many of us enjoyed exploring God’s grace together through small groups and Sunday sermons. This experience not only made us feel part of something significant for our new city but also began to form friendships that continue to grow deeper.
We just returned from a vacation in New York. Although we all very much enjoyed our time in our hometown with family and friends, we are happy that coming to Austin felt like coming home.
This fall we will enjoy another Parish Retreat together, Explore God with people from all around Austin and celebrate moving-in to new church offices. Many of the details for these events are below with more specific information in coming weeks. I love Christ Church and look forward to sharing new adventures together. I hope you’ll join us.