As you know, my retirement is upcoming. While the exact date is dependent on the ultimate outcome of the Rector search process, it’s clearly sooner rather than later. The practical consequence is that now, whenever I’m involved in a special event at St. Paul’s such as Christmas or Epiphany, it’s for the last time. This causes very bittersweet feelings.
My last Christmas at St. Paul’s was very special. We had record crowds, the music was spectacular, and it was wonderful seeing returning family members home for Christmas. Knowing that this would be my final Christmas at St. Paul’s made the evening even more special than usual and, for the first time, a little sad.
Now I am in my final season after the Epiphany. On the first Sunday of the season, the day we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, I had the special privilege of performing three Baptisms. As you probably know, Baptisms are one of my very favorite things to do as a priest and as your Rector. This day marked the 149th Baptism at St. Paul’s during my tenure. Baptisms represent wonderful, joyful new life for the individual being baptized, for the congregation, and for the world. We are so blessed to have so many young families with children, bringing a constant influx of new life, new vitality, and new ideas to our parish.
As much as I have loved my time and service at St. Paul’s, it is time for me to step down. In the same way that new families bring new life, new vitality, and new ideas, so will a new Rector. This is an exciting time for our parish, and for me. I look forward to new adventures in my retirement, and I hope you are looking forward to new adventures with your new Rector, whoever she or he may be.