There is much to be said, and I hope each of you will take the time to talk with David and share your gratitude for his tremendous service to St. Paul's. When I came to this wonderful parish, he had been ably steering the ship for many months.
He graciously stayed on as associate rector helping us in this latest phase of St. Paul's transition. I am especially grateful for his wise counsel to me, his pastoral care to our members, and his passionate concern for the university community. His liturgical and preaching skills are tremendous, and especially appreciated by me.
In the next few weeks, we need to find ways to thank and honor David, though he has asked that we not make too much fuss. We will have a big coffee hour in his honor in July. And I hope you will make some fuss, and let me suggest that individuals and small groups might take him to lunch or invite him to dinner.
Here is David's grace-filled letter:
Easter Monday 2009
My dear friends,
Five years ago you invited me to join the St. Paul's ministry. I have loved being part of this parish, sharing in the lives of so many of you, watching our student ministry regain some of its earlier vitality. I could not imagine a more satisfying way of rounding out my forty years in the ordained ministry.
It is now time for me to retire from that ministry. I have been with you during a period of transition from one rector to another, a transition that is now complete. Under new leadership, the parish has the exciting opportunity of reaching out to the Charlottesville and University communities with renewed energy and vision.
Jim and I have determined that July 26th will be the end of my service at St. Paul's. Because I plan to remain in Charlottesville, I shall look forward to seeing all of you frequently. I have been greatly blessed by having been part of St. Paul's, and I pray that God will continue to bless the parish in the months and years to come.
With my love,