As leaves began changing colors in October, signaling a transition between seasons, our parish family was experiencing a transition of its own. We celebrated Father Don’s and Chris’ 17-year ministry at Pohick, as they accepted Don’s new call as Chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem. Shortly thereafter, I was delighted to accept the Vestry’s call - approved by Bishop Shannon - to become your Priest in Charge.
Ministry transitions typically follow a pattern: first, hearing the Lord’s surprising but clear call; prayerfully discerning the direction of the Spirit; and obediently going where God calls. In any of life’s transitions, we enter a process of leaving what is behind and standing in a threshold. There we are unsure of what lies beyond. However, we are filled with an unmistakable sense of “rightness,” joy, and anticipation, as we humbly walk through that door and trust what is ahead.
I sense that Fr. Don experienced this as he accepted God’s call to the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East. I certainly did, as I accepted God’s call to shepherd Pohick. And what’s more, the joy seems mutual.
One after the other, you expressed your delight. Our talented and incredibly devoted Senior Warden Beth Altmann and Junior Warden Clint Herbert, as well as every Vestry member, the entire Community of Hope, the Brotherhood of St. Andrews, the Ladies’ Guilds, the communications ministry, and all ministry leaders, all staff, and way too many of you to list: all of you have embraced all of us - Tom, the girls and myself - with genuine hospitality and love. There are too many to name; know that I treasure every one of you! I cherish your warmth, energy, and enthusiasm! The Lord has given me the fierce but gentle love of a shepherd for you, and my heart melts when I am with you.
Someone recently said they like how I “smile so often.” My response is: “I’m happy!” Your gestures of encouragement and love lift me. Your support and prayers give me the strength to take on two positions while searching to fill my former one.
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