I write today to let you know that I have informed the staff, wardens, and vestry that I have accepted a call to be the next rector of St. Elizabeth's Church in Ridgewood, NJ. I will end my work at St. John's Church on July 28 and begin work there in September.
This is exciting news. I've been praying and thinking for some time about what God might be calling me to next. St. Elizabeth's is a healthy, vibrant church, and I'm confident that I'm well prepared to lead them in their next chapter.
This news is also difficult to share. It's hard to leave a place that you love. You all have loved, supported, and cared for Catherine and me during times of great joy and great sadness in our lives. Likewise, I've had the wonderful privilege of walking with you all during good times and hard times in your lives. I feel very blessed that I've been one of your priests and pastors.
When I joined the staff nearly five years ago, I knew St. John's was (and still is) one of the best parishes in the Episcopal Church. We are healthy, we are growing, we have great music, beautiful liturgy, and an astounding commitment to serving God and others in our region and abroad. The list goes on and on. In short, St. John's is one of the best parishes in the Episcopal Church because of you, and I hope you know how truly grateful I am for these past five years.
Jesus' words at the end of Matthew's gospel have been coming to my mind a lot lately. After his Resurrection, he speaks to his disciples and tells them to "Go." His last words to them are: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." I leave St. John's trusting and believing that God is with me as I prepare for a new ministry, and that God is with St. John's as you begin your next chapter with Rob and all of the faithful priests and people who will come after us.
Please keep Catherine, Charles, Mary Claire, and me in your prayers as we prepare for this transition. You are in my prayers each and every day.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Andy Olivo