With only four Sundays remaining of my time with you, some things to consider:
1. If you haven’t done so, please get back into the habit of wearing your name tags as it will be helpful for the priests who will be providing worship leadership during the month of June as well as being ready to welcome your new priest in charge and his family.
2. Let your new priest get settled in with life at St. David’s. I know there are some who are anxious about getting back to the way things were before the pandemic. I’ve even heard some suggesting returning to two services on Sunday or using intinction during communion. These may be changes that will happen in time under the priest-in-charge’s guidance but allow him to discover and learn about this parish and pray with him for where the Holy Spirit is leading St. David’s. It’s a good rule of thumb for any new priest and the congregation to refrain from making any major changes for six months to a year when beginning a new call. Please be patient!
3. I can’t believe how quickly my time is coming to an end as your interim priest in charge. Even though I have only been here for 18 months, I have enjoyed my time with our work together in the Lord’s vineyard. I have come to love you and appreciate this amazing community at St. David’s. However, when I have completed my ministry with you, I will no longer be your priest. We are called to go in different directions whether that be retirement, or part time pastoral work or in my case another full-time interim position. Relationships between priests and parishioners can form strong bonds of friendship. Those relationships as friends may well continue but the relationship as priest and parishioner has ended. This is the difficult part when leaving a parish. The focus of the members of St. David’s now shifts to establishing a relationship with their newly called priest. Former priests and pastors are not to return to do baptisms, weddings or funerals. These are responsibilities of the present priest who has been called to the parish. Please avoid putting your present and former priest in the awkward situation by asking if the former priest can take part in a ceremony at the church. I will have to refuse – not because I no longer care but because that is my responsibility as a former priest and a requirement of the Diocese (and in my case the ELCA). Even so my love and prayers will continue for this parish.
4. Please keep me in prayer as I am currently interviewing with another congregation in the Diocese who will be in need of an interim priest.
Blessed Easter Season to you all!
In His love,