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Letter From The Rector

THE YEAR OF CHANGE

(Note: the following is a portion of the report given by me on January 5th at the Annual Parish Meeting. I’m reprinting it here for the benefit of those who may have missed that meeting.)

There is an old adage that says the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes. I would readily add a third thing that is guaranteed in this life- change. If I were to label the coming year 2020 as the year of anything, it would be “The Year of Change.”

Of course, in any given year we all experience changes in our personal and/or family lives- the birth of children, marriage, health issues, job changes, moving into a new home, retirement, death, etc. All of these changes are inevitable and have the potential to impact our lives in significant ways- both in positive ways and negative. And so how we deal with the changes we experience is very important. Someone once said, “Living a balanced life is largely contingent upon how successfully we handle the transi-tions (the changes) in our lives.”

Some big changes are coming our way at St. Peter’s this coming year. As many of you know by now, I will be retiring from full time ministry in early July. This is due in part to the Episcopal Church’s policy of mandatory retirement at age 72 (that’s me in July) and health issues that impact my ability to function as well as I’d like. My retirement will mean new temporary clergy leadership for St. Peter’s start-ing in July and St. Peter’s entering into a transition process that will be led by the diocese and, in time, result in the calling of a new rector. How significantly the different ministries of our church will be im-pacted is impossible to know at this time. But one thing is certain- all of you will have a part to play during this time of transition, whether it be as simple as filling out a questionnaire, or more challenging as in taking an active part in some ministry of the church. Lay leadership will be most important during this time of transition and introspection.

There are, I know, lots of questions and, for now, I have very few answers. The Rev. Roy Hoffman, from our Diocesan staff, will be attending this year’s Staff and Vestry Retreat in February to share the process for calling a new rector with the Staff and Vestry members.

He will also explain the new diocesan policies just released concerning retired rectors and the limits of their involvement with the churches from which they retired. Things should become a bit clearer after the retreat. If you have any questions for me in the meantime, please contact me, but be ready for the answer, “I don’t know, yet.”

My dear friends, remember one important truth…GOD IS IN CHARGE AND ALL WILL BE WELL!

(Upon hearing of her election as the next bishop of our diocese, The Rev. Susan Haynes promised to immerse herself in prayer and the Scriptures as both she and our diocese began a process of transition. That’s excellent advice! I have begun to do that. I hope you will, too.)

Peace and Love,
John+