First of all - please join me in welcoming your new vestry who were elected today! Tom, Cory, Kaitlin and Jenni will be joining Nancy and Ben to serve our community as vestry members. We will pray and commission them next Sunday morning - so hope you can join us then! So grateful for all the ways so many people serve in our community... you are all fab!
Were you able to attend our parish meeting this morning? Well, if you were - you know this next bit and can skip on to the end.... But if not - here’s some news!
The time has come for Simon and me to plan on packing our bags and heading back to old Blighty. Next summer (2022) we will transition from this soil which has been so kind and friendly to us, back to the other place we call home.
In July 2022, it will have been 15 years and 7 months since New Years Eve, 2006 when Simon and I asked God to show us our next chapter. We were willing to go anywhere - it was a good time for our family. It seemed an appropriate time for us in our careers. It was an exciting time to be bold. The kids were on board. So we said - send us - anywhere!
A day or two later, Simon got an unexpected call from someone at the IMF inviting him to apply for a position. And by July we had sold our house; packed up our kids and possessions; and Fiona, Simon and I left the UK; and waved goodbye to our sons Adam and David who were at Cardiff University (with MANY tears from me, fewer from the boys).
Since then I have transitioned from being a UK High School math teacher to being an Anglican priest and church planter. Fiona has finished school and 2 degrees later she has her own practice as a counsellor in London. Our sons are married (Adam to Hayley, and David to Hannah) and have babies (so we now have 3 grandchildren). And Simon has reached the age when the IMF says - you are officially OLD and mandatory retirement beckons. Your task is complete (and by the way your visas will both expire). Go home! If you want more details send me an email I'd be happy to fill you in on more of the story!
And so, on May 8, 2022 I will officially end my time as rector at Incarnation. At the end of June 2022 Simon will give back his IMF laptop and we will gradually say goodbye to the many people we have come to love so very, very dearly; we also plan to do some travelling to explore more of this beautiful country. Our current plan is that we will be back in Arlington around the end of September before hopping on a plane and saying 'au revoir'.
Longer term: we will be back to visit. We will always have a guest room or two in the UK. We will NOT be cutting ties of relationship and love. I have every hope and intention that we will welcome you all to our home in England (ed: or Scotland says Simon), that we will jump in on trips abroad, that we will join you in pilgrimages around the world, that we will host prayer retreats and one way and another - STAY IN CONTACT!
As for Incarnation, your vestry are working hard to ensure a smooth transition. And let's pause here to thank God for our new vestry: Nancy, Ben, Kaitlin, Jenni, Cory, and Tom are ready to get to work. This is going to be a busy year for them - pray as they adjust to being a new team, and pray for their deliberations and times of prayer - for wisdom, insight, patience and clarity. Pray they will be kind and gentle in their debates. Pray that they will be solid in their faith and prayerful in their speech. They are working with the Diocese and with our bylaws to ensure that Incarnation is ready to launch with delight and anticipation into the next chapter. Please pray for them and the staff as we all ensure that this is a point of pruning and then growth for the Kingdom as we peer into the future.
In other news:
If you were at the parish meeting today you would also have heard Amy introducing the idea of how/where/when we will worship in the winter. The canopies are fab - but when it snows they might not look so fun! This morning we outlined some of the ideas we are processing and the call to prayer! If you missed it - look out for a blog in a day or two with all the details.
Next week, Oct 3 is DONUT Sunday - prepare to bring a fingerfood and linger for a while! We will also commission the new vestry members in the service - why not pray for them between now and then and bring a card with a verse or word of encouragement for each of them on Sunday? And we will also have a time of Q&A as we munch our brunch to chat about the location/timing questions.
Oct 17: David Griffin will be ordained by the Bishop as a Transitional Deacon - not sure what that is? Why not sign up to take them a meal and linger when you drop it off to ask him! After the service we will have a time to greet +John and ask him ALL your questions - on Anglicanism, life and really anything at all!
The Goebels are also welcoming drop-off dinners as they adjust to life with a newborn - email Kaitlin for more details about both these meal opportunities!
Every week I say - reach out for a walk and coffee - honestly, I mean it! Want to pray, walk, talk? Drop me an email!
With so much love