Dear People of St. Andrew’s,
Blessings and peace to you. I am honored and humbled by the call to come to St. Andrew’s, and I am very much looking forward to serving in your midst as together we discern and carry out the ministry to which God is calling us.
Already you have given me much to be grateful for. Thank you for your prayers and kind expressions of condolence to me and my family after my father’s death. I’m doing okay. Although I’m sad, of course, mostly I am relieved that Dad is free of his suffering and has entered a new and better life. I thank God for the sure and certain hope of resurrection.
I am also grateful to you for your life-giving, soul-renewing gift of a February 1 start date for my ministry at St. Andrew’s. My focus over the past six weeks has been caring well for the people of St. George’s so that there will be a healthy closure for the parishioners there and for me – allowing them to be open to the ministry of their next priest; and allowing me to be fully available to you when I arrive. Having December and January as “down” time, with no parish responsibilities, is a tremendous blessing for me. Not only will I be able to carry out some household and family tasks that I have been pushing onto a very over-filled (!!) back burner for far too long, but also, and more importantly, those two months will provide me with opportunities for prayer and reflection and retreat time. My February arrival at St. Andrew’s gives me a precious two-month pause in which to catch my breath, get my bearings, and prepare myself for my life and ministry in your midst. On February 1, you will receive a much better priest than you would if I arrived earlier. Thank you for that gift.
I have been holding St. Andrew’s in my prayers for many months, ever since you first started your search, and long before I decided to submit my name. (God does indeed work in mysterious ways!) Know that I continue to hold you in my prayers, asking for God’s blessings for you in this in-between time, and for God’s blessings on our shared ministry in the years to come. Please hold me in your prayers, too.
See you in February!