With the deepest of gratitude for our shared ministry these past eleven and a half years, I am writing to you.
All Saints is a parish I deeply love and at which I have spent a major portion of my ordained ministry. It remains difficult for me to imagine a life apart from this community. As Scripture tells us, “to everything there is a season, a time for beginnings and a time for endings.” Change comes to all with the passing of time. There is both grief and hopeful anticipation in my decision to transition out of full time ministry at the age of sixty-five.
I have given over 37 years of my life to ministry within the Episcopal Church. They have been extraordinary years—years of joy, challenge, and willing sacrifice. Increasingly, Nancy and I find our hearts drawn to be there for our adult children and grandchildren when they call on and need us. I want to continue to serve as an Episcopal priest in this diocese and beyond, but eventually in a way that will allow me greater time and flexibility. I have a deep love for Christian spirituality and the contemplative way, and I want to pursue study, teaching, and writing in these areas. My ministry career may be ending, but not my vocation.
All Saints is a large and complex community to oversee. I believe it is time for a new person to lead the parish into the future. One who will bring new insights and tested skills for building up this community in the love of Christ. I believe God will lead a very gifted person to join you and our incredibly dedicated staff for the next stage of All Saints’ life. Be assured that you have a great deal to do with who that person will be. It is the call of the search committee, the vestry, and the parish.
I’ve been reflecting on a quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of the ending.”
This comes with my profound gratitude for your love, friendship, and faithful support.
It has been a privilege to be your rector, priest, and friend. Nancy shares my heart for all of you. We will cherish every day that remains as we move to my last Sunday, February 11, 2018, the Last Sunday of the Season of Epiphany.
I will always be on the Journey with you. In the love of Christ,
Fr. Rob Lord+