Note from the Rector: Fr. Brian Is Moving On

Since the first of the calendar year so much of what we’ve done in our preaching, formation, planning, and conversation has been centered around the theme Journey with Jesus. Last week, The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers touched on this theme in her talk on “Becoming Beloved Community” and expanded our vocabulary to include thinking about this journey in terms of a labyrinth. A labyrinth, you know, has a beginning point and a destination, but the way is never linear! There are twists and turns, and often the way forward is surprising. As I reflect on my four years (as of June 15) as your Rector, I remember the twists and turns and many surprises we have encountered in our journey together. We have done good work, and I am grateful and hopeful for our future as a parish.

One of the surprises in our journey together occurred two years ago, when Fr. Brian Gregory came to serve as Curate. (For those who don’t know, in our tradition, a Curate serves for two years as a priest-in-training.) Not only did he bring years of expertise in youth ministry, but his beautiful family, as well. Kelly, Ellsley, and Westin have become dear to us all, and made their own mark on the life of this parish. Another surprise was that we had the honor and privilege of hosting his ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests. He has done good ministry here among us over the past two years. He has been a particular blessing to me as a trusted colleague and friend.

Most of you are aware that Fr. Brian and Kelly have been in discernment for quite some time about the possibility of serving the Lord in Guatemala. Last Sunday I announced that Fr. Brian and his family have come to a decision; they will be leaving the States in mid-August to serve at least one year in Guatemala. I will leave it to Fr. Brian and Kelly to give you the details of what they’ll be doing—as a start, you can read Fr. Brian’s letter to the congregation here.

Fr. Brian’s last Sunday with us will be August 4. He will preach and celebrate at both services that day, and the vestry is planning a celebration to express our gratitude. I will lead us in a brief commissioning service that day, and we will send them on their way with our thanks and blessings. Stay tuned for more details. I will also be making an announcement soon about how we can continue to support Fr. Brian in the work to which God is calling him.

In the meantime, the vestry leadership and I will be in prayer and discernment about staff leadership for our children, youth and family ministries. As I stated on Sunday, the vestry and I are fully committed to reaching and serving families with children and youth, which makes up the vast majority of our community demographic. I will keep you updated as we move along in this process.

Please keep Fr. Brian and his family in your prayers as they prepare to move to Guatemala, and for our parish as we continue on our journey to become the Beloved Community that God desires for us!

Blessings, Fr. Steve+


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The Gregorys in Guatemala

by Fr. Brian Gregory
 
Back in March, I discussed in a sermon that my family and I were discerning a call to serve God and God’s people in Guatemala. Many of you heard the announcement last Sunday that we will be leaving in August to follow God’s call to ministry Guatemala. Our nearly two years of discernment have involved countless people (including members of the Good Samaritan community), much prayer, and difficult decisions. In that time, we have not been able to shake the sense of call we feel to step out in faith to serve. We will be working with the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and an organization called Safe Passage, which works in the community around the Guatemala City garbage dump, providing hope, education, and opportunity for children and families living in extreme poverty.
 
These past two years have been a joy—not only for me in my ministry, but also for my family as we have gotten to know you all and share life with you. Good Samaritan has been an incredible place to begin my ministry as a priest in the Episcopal Church. I am grateful to each and every one of you for your welcome, your care, your commitment to Jesus and his church, and to the work of formation and service to which we are all called.
 
Together, we have made great strides towards being a church that welcomes, is prepared for, and walks with children and youth to encourage their growing faith. And yet, there is work still to do to become the church we hope to be. There is tremendous potential at Good Samaritan to be “home” for a great number of families in our community. As Fr. Steve will tell you, the work we have done over the last two years will continue after my family and I are gone. But that work will need to include you. Fruitful ministry is never about one priest or person; fruitful and sustainable ministries are shared by many people. It is my hope and prayer that you all will be among that number who will carry forward our ministries to children, youth, and families.
 
We will miss Good Samaritan and all of you dearly, but we are excited to discover all God has in store for us in this next season of life and ministry. We also look forward to sharing these next few months with you, as we all begin to close this chapter of our life together and move towards the places God is calling us.
 
Please keep my family and me in your prayers.
Fr. Brian+

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What Is the Narrative Installation?

Holy Week—the time starting on Palm Sunday and ending on Easter—is a week like no other. In this short week, we journey from the height of expectation, to the depths of loss, and into unfathomable joy. Fully entering into the journey of Holy Week, being present to all of the meaning, allows us to see our own lives clearly and encounter the depth of God’s love and presence in all the experiences of life. We hope you’ll join us for all of our Holy Week services as they are rich and beautiful liturgies.

New this year, we will be hosting a Narrative Holy Week Installation that gives an opportunity to explore the symbolism and meaning of Holy Week through creative and experiential activity. With prayer and meditation stations for each day of Holy Week, we’ll encounter Holy Week in new and powerful ways and discover the ways our own lives connect to this week as well. Come prepared for quiet, for candlelight, for new ways of seeing ancient practice, and for transformation as we encounter God’s love.

Blessings,

Fr. Brian+


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