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An Open Letter of Gratitude to my Beloved Church Family at Eikon.

Living across the globe from a Church I call home means that there is almost always a 6-hour time difference between the Sunday service airing and my waking up to watch it. So, when I awoke on Monday at 7:20 am to messages of support and comfort in our "Faith Reimagined" group chat, I had a sense that Pastor Kelly’s 'special message' for the service was not one typically associated to that of a joyous and celebratory nature. As much as the news of Eikon's passing season saddened me, seeing Kelly and Dan shed tears while delivering the news with such sincerity and grace reduced me to a puddle of heaving, messy, snot-covered tears.

Words cannot express the emotions I was and continue to feel, yet I feel compelled to express them nonetheless, if only to express my heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful church family I met in Eikon. In essence, this is what Eikon means to me:

Eikon is the healing tears I shed upon discovering Dan's 'Clarity' sermon on YouTube while conducting research for a Theology paper.

Eikon is the genuine enthusiasm that emanates from our greetings over Zoom chats, albeit 30 minutes late.

Eikon is the spark of insight we experience from discussing and listening to different perspectives over book clubs, Howard Thurman sermons, or contrastingly, questionable CPAC speeches.

Eikon is how we fully accept, support, and celebrate each other's journeys and personality quirks, whether it be the admission of an Instagram comment feud, an extended hiatus from reading the Bible, or the teasing laughter over zoom when I would begin my contribution with "Well according to Christian Science..."

Eikon is the second hand joy I experienced upon hearing about Kelly and Janine's face-to-face meetup after two years of conversing online, and how they were so overcome with emotions, they cried happy tears.

Eikon is the hope in the prayers we recite as a community, whether for the health of a member of the Eikon family, the peaceful journey of a close friend who has passed away, or the relinquishment of anxiety we feel when confronted with daily challenges.

Eikon is the love we express to each other at the conclusion of every meeting, online or otherwise.

Eikon is the friendships that I’ve formed over the course of my time here, that I’ll take with me for the rest of my days and beyond.

Eikon is the wholeness of being a part of something that is greater than and outside of ourselves, yet in having been a part of each others lives, is something as intimate as the air we breathe.

Eikon is home, one despite the physical distance, has a place in my heart that is closest to all that I hold dear.

Eikon is the profound gratitude that I feel in having had this healing experience.

I am extremely blessed to have been a part of the Eikon family. You will always be in my heart and in my prayers. And to the effect of what I’ve previously mentioned in our group chat, “Y’all are a special kind of special.”

Thank you and with the utmost gratitude,



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