Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
On Wednesday evening, June 17
at 6:00, we will celebrate an important rite in our common life as a parish, a liturgy entitled, ‘The Renewal of Ministry with the Welcoming of a New Rector.’ Even though we have journeyed together in ministry for a little more than a year, seasons full of surprises, this is an opportunity to gather with our Bishop to give thanks for our relationship as priest and people and to pray for God’s blessing upon our future together.
During the service, a letter of institution will be read, gifts exchanged, prayers offered, praises sung, and my dear friend, Bishop Brian Cole of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, will be at St. Mary’s to preach the sermon. It promises to be a beautiful and blessed evening of worship.
One reality of the season in which we now live is that we are not able to physically gather as a congregation for this liturgy. Instead, the service will be livestreamed via YouTube Live and Zoom; log-in information was included in yesterday’s Epistle, will be sent via e-mail on Wednesday, and is available on our parish website (www.stmaryofthehills.org).
While I am saddened that we will not all be able to be together physically for this service, I am grateful that the Spirit is ever about strengthening the bonds of our affection as a community of faith. Our mission and ministry in these mountains has not been diminished by this pandemic; we have only learned new ways of being God’s people, active in the world. I look forward to celebrating our relationship as we continue to build up the Kingdom of God together.
As ever, it is a joy and privilege to serve as your Rector.
The Reverend Andrew J. Hege