The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

This is why I am who I am.

On Sunday, we had a bridal shower for Emily, my cousin-to-be. It was a beautiful, sunny day in Hermosa Beach at my cousins Erica and JD's adorable new house. It was a fantastic day to (continue to) welcome Emily into our giant family. She's fantastic. The food was amazing, the laughter was plentiful, and we really set up Emily and Matthew to have full cupboards and full lives. The best part, I think, (other than a glorious hour on the beach afterward) was this email my aunt Jackie sent out today:

Dearest ones – Once again, and as always, how can I thank you? Beyond making both mom and Emily feel so well-loved and special, you all were such a help to me. The secret that I know, and that I carry in my heart every minute of my life, is knowing that each of you are always there for me; I count on you. We are all a part of each other, and I am so deeply, truly grateful for the meaning you give to my life. As the years go by and we add to our beloved family I only become more sure that we are the luckiest people on earth.

I’m so appreciative that Emily now knows why Matthew, Amanda, Pam, Erica, Greg and I love this family so very, very much, and that she feels equally adored by each of you. She was overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit, and the genuine joyfulness, showered upon her. She told me she didn’t want her day to end and can’t wait to come back for Christmas. You can see she’ll have no problem holding her own with any of us! She’s a hoot!! Matthew didn’t stray far from the mold…

Thank you all for being you, for being exactly who I counted on you to be. You made this a very special time for our family, and for me. We have so much to celebrate, so many more memories to gather!

I love you all with all my heart. I am truly, truly blessed.

Buy Zach Berkman's new album, "The Valley" as soon as you can.

From today's "Verse and Voice"