Last week my family was on vacation in West Virginia. We hiked, fished, climbed, kayaked, rafted, golfed, watched movies, took in stars and sunrises and sunsets, and ate tons of ice cream (at one point, the man at the ice cream shop eyed our rather small-statured family and gently suggested that we might not be able to finish the quantity of ice cream we were ordering; don’t worry, we proved him wrong!).
It was a wonderful trip, and I was so grateful to our vestry and staff for making the time away possible — particularly our newest staff member, Katie Hamlin, who immediately jumped right into work!
I am overjoyed that Katie has agreed to serve as our interim Associate Rector. We had a number of excellent candidates and a lengthy, rigorous hiring process. All along the way, that process yielded helpful discoveries about our church and our needs at this time, and I’m thankful for the ways many of you contributed your time and insights.
In the end, it became very clear that Katie is God’s gracious provision for our church in this season. Katie is a wise and trusted pastor with a wealth of ministry experience (including serving Incarnation with me during Liz’s sabbatical last year), and I could not be more grateful that she has stepped into this role.
However, this is not quite the outcome that either Katie or Incarnation expected when we posted the associate role nearly 6 months ago! And so we decided to make the role an “interim” one as we both continue to discern God’s long-term plans for Incarnation and the Hamlin family. I am hopefully expectant to see how God might lead us through this posture of open-handed discernment (or, to use a very Incarnationy word, this posture of wonder).
We will revisit this interim arrangement next year. Until then, Katie is ALL IN at Incarnation, serving our community with her many gifts. I asked Katie to introduce herself, and this is what she shared:
“I am so delighted to be back at Incarnation. I loved this community from afar while we lived in Bangkok and you were meeting at Liz's house and then at Greenbrier. I worked alongside Liz, Amy, Josie, and Beth during our first years back in the US during the hardest part of COVID-tide. And now, I'm excited to be your interim associate rector. My continual prayer as I have stepped into this role has been, ‘God, how do you want to use me this year to help Incarnation reach the wounded, discouraged, and estranged people around us?’ I think this question is at the core of Incarnation's identity and so I hope that you will join your prayer with mine as we seek to love God's lost beloved sheep together.”
Amen! May we all seek to love God’s beloved sheep together, and may we all be blessed and nourished by the pastoral care of our newest under-shepherdess, Reverend Mother Katie.
Fall is upon us, but we're stretching out summer rhythms just a bit longer:
Fall small groups will begin in October (after the fall retreat). This fall, we're simplifying small groups: just a meal around the table and Evening Prayer. Read more in last week's letter. Interested in hosting? Email Katie (email@example.com)
Wild Wonder will continue at 9:30am through Sundays in September. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (our children's program) will begin in October and run through the church year. Stay tuned for more details from Josie, and email her (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you're interested in learning ways to help with our kids.
The hiking group is hiking Calvert Cliffs on Labor Day (Monday, Sept 5). We had a blast hiking these 4 miles and splashing in the Chesapeake Bay last year. Join us! Email Jenni for details (email@example.com).
September will bring so many happy Sundays: our church's birthday on Sept 11 (4 years!), a parish meeting and potluck on Sept 18, and baptisms on Sept 25. We can't wait to celebrate together!
As always, it's a gift to be your pastor — I'm always up for a walk or a coffee or a chat anytime!