Monday, December 5, 2016
Dear St. Peter's Parish Family:
I write to share that my Associate Rector, The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, has accepted the call to serve in new ministry as Rector of a parish in the Diocese of Western North Carolina. Needless to say, I, possibly more than anyone, will miss the deep blessing and privilege of serving with Joslyn+, while I also understand and am glad for this perfect ministry opportunity.
Sunday, January 8 will be her last Sunday in ministry at St. Peter's. Soon, more will come from me about how our faith community might celebrate the extraordinary ministry of Joslyn+ among us. Meanwhile, I ask your prayers for Joslyn+, Brian, Elias, and Susannah as they prepare to transition. If you have questions, please contact me.
Thanks and peace, Ollie+
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
email@example.com | 704-749-6140
Dear Beloved People of St. Peter's:
With great sadness, I share that I will be leaving our parish. And with great joy and a bit of faithful trepidation, I am answering a call to serve as the 22nd Rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, NC. Right now the sadness overwhelms the joy because my grief is intense and surely a sign of our mutual love, always signaling Christ's love in and through us.
St. Peter's has been a place of profound grace for our family. You all prayed me into the priesthood when I was ordained in January 2014, and you all welcomed our daughter into the Body of Christ when she was baptized Pentecost 2016. Each week we have come together, drawn up into the great mystery of Christ's death, resurrection and promise to come again in the Eucharist.
Transitions are a time to root down and reconnect with our deepest purpose - participating in Christ's reconciling mission to the world. St. Peter's will continue to live out that mission under the leadership of my dear colleague and your talented Rector, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, along with the other blessed leaders, lay and ordained, of the parish. I cherish the next few weeks to say good-bye, on the one hand, and on the other, to lean into the reality of the Communion of Saints, through which we are always bound together.
In closing, I'd like to share a few words from Julia Gatta, a pastoral theologian, as she reflects on such transitions: Grieving can be an occasion of blessing and thanksgiving if little by little we tell the stories and reminisce together. Grief redirects our attention to the giftedness of relationships, of the church, and of life itself. We never deserved all we were given. How could ever have guessed we would be offered so much in so many marvelous ways? Thus we are brought back to the Giver. (From The Nearness of God: Parish Ministry as Spiritual Practice)
With gratitude beyond words,
The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer
firstname.lastname@example.org | 704-749-6150