Dear People of Christ Church,
This week I’m writing late, late, late, after a week of meetings and celebrations and gratitude and, yes, some tears. Saying goodbye is work! And it will be, for now, goodbye. I mentioned in this space a few weeks ago, but it bears repeating, that after March 5, I won’t be able to be in touch with members of the congregation for some time. There needs to be a time of focus on the future both for the parish and for the departing clergy, and the practice of “leaving when you leave” is one that is not unique to the Episcopal tradition. Come March 5, my church email accounts will be closed, and I won’t be in touch with the congregation on social media.
The work of the transition is a time of making room for silence for the Holy Spirit to speak; for the vestry, wardens, and congregation to plan and dream for the future. As I have said many times our ministry together over the last 11 ½ years will always be one of the great blessings and privileges of my life. But neither you nor I can be in the future and the past at the same time. Only God can do that.
Next week is a big week: Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration with not one, but THREE baptisms, of Nick and Cora Carter and Ffion Byford. Tuesday we have the Mardi Gras pancake supper and party and Ash Wednesday the next day. We have services at 12 and 7, and Anna Jones will be at the commuter rail with a group (please join it!) beginning at 7am to share “Ashes to Go” for the fourth year in a row. More on that practice here, in my 2014 blog piece Making the Right Mistakes. I’ll be at the church early to join in contemplative prayer with Chaplains on the Way and will hold the church open for prayer from 10am-12pm, and ashes will again be available at Two Priests and a Rabbi, my interfaith open office hours at Café on the Common from 2pm-3pm. See you then!
I want to close with sharing again our prayer from Sunday—love, love, always love.
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.