The Reverend Alexandra Pohlod

 It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a year since I started my curacy at St. Olave’s.

In some ways, it feels much shorter that that. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but these past 13 months been more than just fun. I think it’s fair to say that time flies when you’re doing exciting ministry. From conversations about faith and spiritual practices, to teaching, to the many ways St. Olave’s reaches out beyond our walls, it’s been a tremendous joy to serve in this community that God has so richly blessed with the gifts of faith, hospitality, and true generosity of spirit.

One of my fondest memories from the last year is a moment at the end of the Christmas Community Meal. It happened long after the rush of the meal itself. The guests had departed, and we were busy with the task of cleaning up. As I walked past the door to the kitchen, where probably the 200th plate was being washed, the sound I heard was laughter. As tired as we were, at the end of the day, the parish hall was still ringing with the joy of serving side-by-side.

At the same time, I sometimes feel like I’ve been here much longer, which is a testament to how welcoming St. Olave’s is. From the moment I arrived for my interview, I could feel the warmth and open-heartedness of this community.

All of this is God’s love in action.

I can’t think of a better place to be serving my title, as they say in the Church of England. And I can’t think of a place I’d rather have been when the world changed overnight, and the buildings closed, and we had to start doing everything at a safe distance. It’s been a great challenge, and I miss everyone. But the support and encouragement of the leadership and the community have allowed me to face this strange time with more courage than I otherwise might have. It’s a constant reminder that God’s grace surrounds us no matter what occurs.

This, and much more, is what St. Olave’s means to me.