Dear St. Andrew’s,
Thank you so much for a wonderful three years on your staff as part time Assisting Priest. Being at St. Andrew’s has been a great blessing. St. Andrew’s is truly a wonderful community of faithful Christ followers.
Many of you might not know that I was hired to work as an interim for six months by Rob. Fr. Rob is one of the finest clergy persons I have ever had the privilege of working with. Then I stayed and supplied every Sunday until our interim, Fr. David, arrived. Fr. David asked that I stay and assist him. I learned so much about Interim Ministry and Hospitality from David – another great blessing! And then our team of part timers until Anne arrived. What a pleasure it has been to serve with Anne as she has begun her tenure at St. Andrew’s. So, what began as a six-month interim has grown into a little over three years. Kathy Gray, Jen Kimball, Carol Chamberlain, Dick Holley, and Rob, David, and Anne are some of the most exceptional clergy I have known – and then to be able to team up with them in ministry!
St. Andrew’s has also assembled the greatest lay staff in the world: Matt, Janna, Brad, Bill, Bill, Rachel, Harper, and Elizabeth. What an exceptional group to have the opportunity to work with and to know! And, when you add these fine professionals to a truly remarkable congregation with such fabulous vestry and lay leadership – these three years have been blessing upon blessing! Thank you for receiving Hall and me with such open arms and open hearts. Thank you for the beautiful print of the Christus Victor window by Alison Clock. I will treasure it always.
The last few Sundays I’ve been getting a bit teary eyed as we have distributed communion. You may have noticed that when I give you the bread, as I say “The Body of Christ”, I touch your hand with mine before I place the bread in your hand. I do this to remind myself that you are the Body of Christ, and it is in our interactions together that we are the Body of Christ, the Light of Christ in the world. So, these last few Sundays, as I’ve looked at your hands and faces, so familiar now, I’ve been very deeply moved. We have shared much of life together: births, baptisms, Holy days, deaths, and, of course, these transitions in St. Andrew’s. And you have done all of this as a community with such authenticity and grace.
St. Andrew’s will continue to our home church as I move from four days a week to five days a week as Chaplain at Patriots Colony at Williamsburg. And I’m very grateful that Anne will schedule me occasionally at St. Andrew’s. But, you won’t see us every week. I will supply at area churches as needed. I am scheduled to teach dementia awareness at Abingdon for six weeks in September and October. Also, Hal and I are hoping for some weekends away. Perhaps you all could help me out by emailing me ideas for my “fun jar.” We moved here from Florida, and I’ve been working six or seven days a week for quite some time and have not visited Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown, or most of the sites in the area. If you have a chance, email me your favorite spot(s) for day trips and weekend trips: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will put them in a jar, draw them out, and Hal and I will explore the area. Thank you. Thank you for the privilege of serving in this sacred place. I am forever grateful for this time.