One Body, Many Parts

You will know by now that I am stepping down as Rector of the Church of the Good Samaritan effective January 8, 2023. I know that all change is anxiety provoking, and I’m sure that for many of you this will generate some anxiety. We have seen a lot of change in church staff over the past year, and my moving on is another item on that list. How will we manage?

Ruth and I love being a part of this community and so we are sad indeed to be leaving. We arrived in January 2012 and it will be exactly eleven years later that we conclude our ministry here on January 8th, 2023. In that time, we’ve retired our debt as a congregation, refurbished our day school and the chapel, found a secure place of identity and service within the Diocese, seen people come to new faith in Christ and in the last few years before the pandemic seen sustained growth in Sunday attendance (with steady growth at New Chapel and modest decline at 9am). The pandemic has been traumatic for us as a nation and as a community, and we are beginning to emerge out of the far side. A fresh start in a new Rector may well help us towards a fresh start as a community as we attempt a post-pandemic reset.

Getting to that new Rector is not an immediate process. I want to encourage you in the process. Paul the Apostle describes the church as a body with many parts. The Rector is only one small part among many. Church consists of all of you playing your own part within the body that Jesus calls you to be part of. The health of the body is determined by the graciousness, love and humility with which you play your part. You’ve got this Good Sam! 

The most important thing is your life of prayer and service. Do keep loving Christ and loving your neighbor as yourself. Do keep serving one another out of a desire to serve Christ in one another. Do keep seeking to open our community to those who are not yet a part and to extend a warm welcome and practical inclusion to those who join.

You will also want to know practically what is happening next. Canon Arlette Benoit Joseph, the Diocesan Canon for Transition Ministry will be meeting with the vestry at their next meeting on November 14th. She will walk the vestry through all the steps necessary to put interim ministry in place, to set up a search committee and help them in the work of identifying the parish’s needs and what we are looking for in our next Rector. Please pray for your vestry as they engage in this important work.

with love and gratitude,

Richard