To all God’s beloved at Trinity,
I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace given to us by God in Christ Jesus; I rejoice at every moment we have seen and see Christ in one another and in every person we meet and seek out in Christ’s Name. I give thanks for the times we endured and listened to Christ among and within and when we dared to go to places only God could lead us. I am humbled by the privileges of pastoral and priestly invitation and trust you have given me at tender moments in your lives. I am gladdened by the fellowship and care we have shared in this community and in the world. I am made better by you and the shared ministry God has called us to in these 20 years and I am deeply grateful. You are very dear to me.
I will say more as the weeks unfold and particularly as we gather on December 18th. I want to thank our wardens, parish leadership including our Visioning chairs, Management Team and staff for their unwavering and steadfast commitment to God’s call and to all of us. There is more ahead and they are embracing it with faithfulness, trust and excitement for what God is calling this community to as it follows God out into the neighborhood.
You will read in the ECCT Leaving Well Policy that “the wellbeing of the priest and parish require that we work together to bring closure to all relationships (this includes seeking healthy closure to relationships that have been life giving as well as those that have been challenging)”. I pray that we will seek to do this in ways that honor Christ in each other and leave gladness, gratefulness and healing in our hearts. It also reads that I cannot, in any way, participate in the selection of my successor. I have NO desire to do so and I will not engage with anyone in such conversation. Additionally the policy states that after the departure date, I will no longer function in any way as a pastor or priest to those affiliated with Trinity. Specifically I am not permitted to officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals for any person(s) who are affiliated with Trinity or stay in touch by any means including social media. It is when these policies are ignored that the health of the departing priest, the parish and the new priest is harmed and I would never want that for us. There is much more in this document that speaks to my leaving well and leaving you well and ready to invite a new pastor and priest into your lives as you have so graciously done for me and the 24 rectors and countless curates before. I am so glad that you will have The Rev. Salin Low with you as supply priest to walk with you through this transition time, care for you, share sacrament, worship and weekly life among you until your next priest is called to have the holy privilege of being your priest and pastor.
As you transition, I will be transitioning as well. I leave in late December to become the priest, pastor and provost for the people of God who are the congregation at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis. It will be because the Dean before me and the people of the cathedral congregation ended their pastoral relationship well that I and they can become the community God is calling us to be and that I can fully be their priest and pastor as I have been to you.
I will hold you dear always, cherish all that God has done among and between us, and carry with me the extraordinary gifts you have given into my life and the lives of Shep, Sarah and Myles.
I look forward to our conversations, hugs, liturgies, and celebrations in these next weeks and give thanks to God always for each and every one of you.
In Christ’s love,