Big Changes Afoot!
February 5, 2021, 1:23 PM

A Note from the Rector

I’ll just leap right in, shall I?  In consultation with the bishop and the Vestry, I have made the decision to leave Christ Church after Easter.  I will, in fact, be retiring, and I plan to move back east to be nearer to my family.  This has not been an easy decision, and I know I will have times of regret and sadness – as I expect you will as well.

There are a number of factors that have influenced this decision.  Some are purely personal: I am now in my late 60s and I just don’t have the energy I used to have to weather the bumps along the way, and I miss my family. 

Others reflect my “read” of where the parish is in its life in Christ and the realization that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”  There are skills and knowledge I do not have, that you may very well need.  Children grow up and leave home; priests get old(er) and leave churches; churches go through their own life cycles and need new approaches.  It’s all how life is.

We have, as a church family/community suffered some hard losses in the last year due to Covid – worshiping together as we used to do, friends and family members (and some of us) getting sick, hospitalized, and even dying, divisions in our public lives, relationships upended because of political differences, and so on.

But do not forget that we have also survived many of these pressures; we have refused to let them get in the way of our efforts to follow where the Holy Spirit leads.  We may have differences of opinion, but we still are praying together.  In short, we are still here.  That’s always a good thing to remember!  We are still here, despite everything.

And even more importantly, God is still here!  Whatever lies ahead, trust that the Holy Spirit will reveal, in time and through prayer, what comes next.  Do not be afraid.  Rejoice in all the grace God showers upon you. Work together to define your common future – everyone’s voice matters!  Do not be passive, be bold! 

Vestry is receiving guidance from the Diocesan Transition Officer, and will be reaching out to you to hear your hopes and your anxieties and your views and your ideas going forward.  There is a formal discernment process; and the first task is likely to be along the lines of: what have we learned thus far in our journey? 

Your input is crucial to this process.  No one should remain on the sidelines; no one should remain silent.  If I have messed up, you can tell me, and you can tell them.  If I have done well, you can tell me, and you can tell them.  If there are things you want that you haven’t seen, ask. If there are things you don’t like, don’t be afraid to say so.  In all this, be kind, be gentle, be patient, but in all this, also BE PRESENT.   It takes a whole team to win a game, a whole crew to sail a boat, and it takes a whole church to be The Church. YOU are needed. 

And I will say thank you, over and over again, in the coming weeks, for all the wonderful ways in which you have been and are The Church.  I have learned much from you, and I value you – each and every single one of you and all of you together – more than you perhaps know, or I may have shown.  You enriched my life in so many ways.  You have been patient. You have been loving, supportive, caring, even in times of disagreement and disappointment. You have walked in the paths of God.  We have shared so much.  We have moved mountains.  I have every confidence in the long-term viability of Christ Church, no matter what forms it may take, or ministries it may offer, in the future.