Dear Friends,

With the Rector Search Committee commissioned and holding their first meeting this afternoon, it is time for us to turn our attention to the retirement of our beloved rector, the Rev. Jeannette DeFriest. 

Jeannette, in consultation with the wardens, has decided that her last day with St. Luke’s will be May 1 of this year. She will celebrate her last Eucharist with us on April 28. We have all known since October of Jeannette's plan to retire, but I doubt that I am alone in feeling a bit saddened to know that an official end date is looming. The bond between Jeannette and our parish, and between Jeannette and each of us as individuals, is rich and complex. I believe that many of us will feel a sense of loss on many levels over the coming three months, but Jeannette will continue work with us to prepare for the time she will no longer be our rector. 

On a more cheerful note, we will also use this time to celebrate and honor Jeannette’s fourteen years with St. Luke’s. To this end, we will gather for a farewell party in the Great Hall the evening of March 30. Together, we will send her on to what comes next, armed with our collective blessings, prayers, and best wishes. Please make plans to attend. 

We will also take up a collection to provide a tangible expression of our appreciation in the form of a “Rector’s Purse,” which is a tradition in the Episcopal Church on the occasion of a rector’s retirement. More information on the farewell party and the purse collection will follow soon.

Thank you for your continued prayers during this time of transition at St.Luke's. It is a good time to remember that closing grace from Evensong, taken from the letter to the Ephesians: "Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."

In Peace,
Peggy Newton, Senior Warden
Bill Farina, Junior Warden