To the Editor:
Thank you for writing the article on the stained glass window presented to Don Lyons for his many years as leader of Grace Church. We sent the following letter to Don thank him for his incredible service to our family and community:
Don, we are sorry we couldn’t make the celebration of your time as a minister of Grace Church. The stained glass window is beautiful and a fitting tribute to the amazing job you did. Shortly after we arrived on the Island you came to our house and invited us to become members of the Grace Church community. It was one of the best decisions of our lives to accept the offer, leading to many years of a supportive, loving, and caring environment for our family.
Your church services were remarkable and the activities you offered the congregation kept all ages of members actively involved. The plays, a church-school the kids loved attending (even when they got lost on the trips — Cedar Tree Neck!), picnics, basketball leagues, choir, retreats, and pre-school to name a few. You believed in an eclectic church sharing meals (Seder, Thanksgiving), holidays, and services with other churches, the synagogue and Camp Jabberwocky. Kids and adults felt supported, comfortable, loved, and important in your parish.
Your style of ministering brought people together and close to God in ways that a Sunday service alone couldn’t accomplish. You have a gift for recognizing and fulfilling the needs of all ages.
Ministering to the old, sick, lonely, and poor was included in the mix. The doors of Grace Church were always open and accepting. You “walked the talk” when it came to ministering and we feel blessed to have been part of it.
Thank you for welcoming us to the Island — you encompass all the beautiful things we love about Martha’s Vineyard.
Our children are very caring, compassionate adults and you were definitely instrumental in their journey to that end.
This letter is long overdue. We are beyond fortunate that God brought you to our doorstep in 1968.
In love and appreciation,
Jay and Pat Schofield