Following the arduous work of the Discernment Committee, and that of the Vestry, and your many months of prayer and conversation, Walter Vance, our Senior Warden, confirmed the call of me as your Rector this past Sunday. This call ultimately comes from Jesus. Jesus, of course, does not call us because we are perfect, but because He loves us. And, all He really asks is a willing heart. In His graciousness, Jesus has asked that I continue this sacred journey with you, as the one, imperfect though I may be, to lead the parish to verdant pastures: rich prayer and liturgy, engaging fellowship, enriching formation and service to the broader community. This is a collaborative venture with you, and I willingly and gratefully accept.
I receive this responsibility with trust in the faithfulness of our Lord in my personal life and to our parish, with joy and with a sense of gravity. More than a hire, this is a call. More than a contract, this is a covenant. Ours is a covenantal relationship rooted in the love of Christ that binds us to one another beyond all of the familiar categories. The words of St. Paul (Galatians 3:28) ring ever so true: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” I will need your help in realizing and maximizing the abundance that we have at Ascension and St. Agnes. Our Lord, in whom, in all our diversity, we are one, is eager to bless us. We can, therefore, be certain that the road ahead is a hopeful one. All we must do is yield to His love and light, and therein seek to be lavishly welcoming of one another and all those who pass through our doors, and all those to whom our Lord will send us.
I will also be counting on your prayer. I will be counting on your honest dialogue. Please know that my door is always open. And, know of my prayer for you. Again, it is my great wish that we grow personally in faith, hope, and love, and, as a parish, together and in number. It is my great wish, along with St. Peter (I Peter 1:23) that “we love one another deeply from the heart” always bearing in mind that we “have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed”. Imperishable seed: God’s irrevocable gift of grace, ours for the journey. Let us rejoice in our merciful Lord Who is indeed watching over us.
Yours in Him,