Dear People of St. Catherine’s,
An army chaplain once drove twenty miles to speak at a nearby church. Although his family went with him, he forgot to tell his six-year-old daughter where they were headed. After a few miles on the road, she called from the back seat, “Dad, when we get to where we’re going, where will we be?”
That’s a life-sized question for the beginning of this new year. We have come through 2019, a year of significant change for this parish. We started the year with an appeal from the senior warden for us to stretch our giving a little further to support our budget. Halfway through this year, we said farewell to Mother Susan Latimer, who had served faithfully as rector for almost 8 years. We entered a time of uncertainty in the summer, and finally, in September, I began to serve as your interim rector.
All during the year we faced new challenges. As the summer began, we scaled back our Sunday morning breakfasts, only serving them every other Sunday. Long time parishioners died or moved away. We welcomed new people to our community, bringing new variety and joy to our worship and fellowship. In the Fall we celebrated a Ministries Fair lifting up all the activities in this parish, rejoicing that so many found ways and places to serve and find spiritual sustenance. We even found that our desire for Sunday breakfast was still high!: and with many more teams recruited, we returned to every Sunday breakfast. We baptized new members and welcomed our community to the lovely church across from the golf course.
On the last Sunday of this month, we will have only one Eucharist, at 9 a.m. It is a chance to worship with parishioners you may seldom see. After the service, we will gather in the parish hall for our annual parish meeting. The narrow purpose of this meeting is to elect new members of the vestry and delegates to our diocesan convention. But let this year be a celebration of the Year of Grace we are traveling through. We will receive reports from commissions, committees, groups and leadership of St. Catherine’s. We will celebrate the abundance and goodness of God in blessing us for another year.
At the annual meeting your senior warden and I will outline for you the actual nuts and bolts of the search process for your next rector. Shortly after the meeting, the actual work begins on this process. It will take a while, so be patient. You will all have opportunity to “weigh in”, so to speak, to express your thoughts, hopes and aspirations for St. Catherine’s. All of your collective hopes and dreams, anxieties and worries, desires and commitments will be collected and the data will be given to those persons writing the parish profile. When all that is done, the actual search committee will begin receiving names, sorting through resumes, interviewing priests, and finally making a report to the vestry. The vestry will, then, issue a call to a new rector. If that person accepts and the bishop approves, then you will have a new rector!
See, it’s that simple. I promise that I will be here all the way until your new rector arrives, God willing, sometime during 2020. It is my great joy to be with you, to keep us going for now. I feel strengthened by your great love for this parish. I find great hope among us for the future. If you do get discouraged or impatient, just remember the great African American song:
We’ve come this far by faith
Leaning on the Lord.
Trusting in his Holy Word
He never failed me yet.
Oh’ can’t turn around
We’ve come this far by faith.
So, come with me, sweet people of St. Catherine’s. We’ve come this far by faith. God will be with us the rest of the way.
With hope and joy in the new year,
Allen W. Farabee
THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Sunday 8:00 A.M. Rite I
HOLY EUCHARIST RITE II
Sunday 10:00 A.M.
CONTEMPLATIVE SUNG EVENING PRAYER
Second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m.