Imagine with me a paratrooper.
A paratrooper descends from the air in a parachute, and hits the ground running - accelerating – to achieve a mission.
In the fall of 2013, paratrooper Chris McNabb landed in Princeton, New Jersey, and landed at Trinity Church. He came by way of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey.
Some glimpses on this paratrooper….
Most new students in the Master of Divinity program at Princeton Theological Seminary start to do field work at churches in their second year. Chris would have none of that. He started to do field work with the Trinity Church family upon arrival. On a Sunday afternoon in September that year, I took Chris with me on a pastoral visit to a homebound elderly parishioner. Chris was immediately caring for this person, and the two of them hit off splendidly. I just wanted to get out of the way and let Chris do this ministry. Let’s go!
It was between Christmas and New Years in 2017 that I stopped by Trinity Church on a Wednesday evening. I was on my over to the Nassau Inn to help with disaster assistance as The American Red Cross was opening a reception center for those persons displaced by the Griggs Farm Apartment Building Fire. Paratrooper McNabb landed again and sprang into action to join in giving comfort and encouragement to these persons in need, and also to the staff members of the Princeton Housing Authority. His efforts did not stop there as he mobilized the Rummage Team, our church family and the greater Princeton community to get needed provisions to those displaced by the fire. Let’s go!
My really good friend Jamie Watson became ill in 2018, and it was discovered to be brain cancer. At the family’s request, I was asked if a Trinity Church priest could come to The Medical Center at Princeton, and later to Merwick, to provide support and encouragement to Jamie. Chris did a fine job of being that reassurance to Jamie and to the family, and to me, during that time. Chris showed great compassion for Jackie, Jamie’s wife, and the family. The memorial service for Jamie in March 2019 that Chris led was fitting and was sensitive, loving and caring. Let’s go!
During late 2018 and into 2019, this dancing idiot had this crazy idea that men might want to do early morning boot camp exercise workouts with him. In late March 2019, I held a pre-launch workout on a cold Wednesday morning focusing not just on the workout but allowing men to talk about their thoughts and feelings on male depression, suicide and suicide prevention. Chris landed again and was there being the very supportive friend and priest a guy could ever have. He has continued to be a support and encouragement to me with the start-up of F3, Fitness-Fellowship-Faith, here in Princeton. He truly believed and has affirmed to me many times that he sensed the Holy Spirit moving me, and prompting me into creating this local outreach to men in our community to make better men; stronger in body, stronger in their friendship and fellowship connections to other men, and stronger in their personal expression of faith in responding to needs in their families, this community and the world. Let’s go!
I have now stated “let’s go!” over four times, and that is the expression I think of when considering Chris. His love for persons is boundless. His sensitive and caring nature for those in need is without match, As he leads in worship, his demeanor, tone, words, and manner point to our glorious God and his Son Jesus Christ, and the great depth of love that God has for us.
The paratrooper is moving on to another mission, soon to land in Nassau County, New York, in North Bellmore at St. Francis Episcopal Church.
The needs in our church family are great.
The needs in our community and nation are great.
The world is hurting.
The time is short.
How do we respond?
Secretary of the Vestry