I am fairly certain that the majority of you are already aware of my pending retirement. As I mentioned in my sermon on Pentecost Sunday, my last day at Trinity will be the last Sunday in August. You will find in this issue of The Tidings a note from the Senior Warden describing the decision made by the Vestry in May at a special called meeting. The meeting was called after the Wardens and I had met with Bishop Howard and the Canon to the Ordinary to discuss the status of my health and recovery from my accident last September. I am truly grateful for the kind and wise decision made by the vestry at that meeting.
As of May of 2018, I have held the position of Rector of Trinity for fourteen years. Overall, these have been wonderful years filled with much joy and accomplishments. The Trinity Church family has provided Susan and me a tremendous atmosphere of love and support in which to nurture our own spiritual life and raise a family. You have witnessed many changes in our family and have seen with us our two sons, John and Matthew, grow to be fine young men who are now married to two beautiful Christian women. We are so thankful that Kelly and Jessie are now members of our family.
As a church family we have also shared together some sad moments. Some of these moments involved the transition of members from Trinity to other churches. No matter what the reason, these were sad moments and times of loss and a cause for grieving. However, the most difficult times were experienced in the sharing of grief and sadness with friends that accompanied the illnesses and death of those who became dear to us during our ministry time here at Trinity. Over the years there have been many and the passing of each left a little hole in my heart.
I will be writing more to you in the next couple of months, but for now I want to encourage you to continue to pray for your vestry, Father Ken and Beth, church staff, Bishop Howard and one another.
As is the current tradition at Trinity, one of our graduating seniors presents the sermon on Mother’s Day. This year it was Jasmine Diaz and she delivered to us an exemplary message of encouragement, love and hope. One portion of her sermon especially hit home with me, and I encourage you to ponder it for what lies ahead for Trinity as we strive to move forward. In regards to her role as band captain Jasmine spoke the following words: “I am also very involved in my school’s band program, I earned the title of band captain this school year and the responsibility of being band captain really tested my character and faith. In the program we have had many different directors over the past 10 years, we lost our band director halfway through the summer and as the highest member of leadership I had to bare a lot of the load. I also had to let God take my stress until we found another director. I am one of those people who like to control everything, and everyone knows someone that is like that, I just happen to have a family that is completely opposite. My mom has really helped me learn to let go, her faith is amazing, she allows God to take control and just goes with the flow all the time. I aspire to be that reliant on God. When I told her the situation with the band program her reaction was that maybe God has a plan. Boy was she right, this year has tested my faith many times. I’ve had to teach, trust, and listen to about 50 students, while making big decisions and still remaining respectful to a Director I just met. I had to learn his vision for the program, and still keep true to our traditions. I thank God for giving me such an opportunity to learn from.”
Over the next few months I pray that you resist the temptation to worry, fear change, panic, take control of the situation or make any sudden changes. Rather, I encourage you to remain faithful to the mission that the Trinity family has set for a course: To Love and Serve God more faithfully; To know Christ more fully; and To make Him better known to others through the power of the Holy Spirit. At the same time be open to new things that God is desirous of accomplishing through your active ministry at Trinity. God is faithful and He will sustain us in whatever He calls us to accomplish.