Once again one of our talented Associate Rectors is moving on to become Rector of a highly respected parish. Candice Frazer will become Rector of the Church of the Ascension here in Montgomery on October 15. Her last Sunday with us is this Sunday, September 30, and we will say goodbye to her and Steve at a reception after the 10:30 Eucharist.
Candice is as talented as any priest I know and she will be greatly missed. She is organized (and how!), energetic, diligent, spiritually grounded, articulate, and organized (have I already said that?). She has been a great partner in ministry and significantly broadened the scope of the programming of St. John’s. It has been fun to provide her support and encouragement as she has identified ideas and then carried them out so competently. That kind of person breeds respect and instills a sense of peace and order. As she has done that for us, she will provide the same and more for our friends at Ascension.
The comments I have heard since the announcement of her call indicate our admiration for Candice, excitement over her new opportunity, and even excitement over what might occur next for us here at St. John’s. We’re no stranger to talented Associates serving for a season and then moving to be Rector. Candice makes the 7th in the last 20 years and, over the years, I’ve noticed a little shift in our reaction as a parish.
At first there was a little panic when someone would move on. “What are we going to do?” “Is Robert going to be okay?” “Are we going to be okay?” It’s a bustling parish and lots of work is required. But we have found that there are lots of wonderful clergy out there. And we have found that this is an attractive place for some of those wonderful clergy to come. As we have gone through a number of transitions with our Associates, perhaps we have gained a little confidence. And perhaps we have come more and more to trust God to continue to provide good things for us.
Transitions in all areas of living are frightening at first. Since we’re not exactly sure what will happen next, we get a little anxious. Transitions prove that we’re not completely in control of our futures, or even the present, and that makes us quake inside as we wonder what will become of us. Invariably our fears of the unknown get taken care of and the various losses in our lives lead to gains. We leave one place, often reluctantly and skeptically, and are taken to another where even greater joy is known. Sometimes the next step we are called to take isn’t as pleasant as where we were but all the steps lead us to a deeper appreciation of God’s loving providence. Maybe it’s not true that God has it all planned out but then again maybe God does! God certainly has a beautiful way of taking our times of transitions and bringing new life to us. God takes advantage of such times to deepen us as disciples.
What is changing in your own life just now? How fretful are you about that? How are trust and confidence being formed in your heart? Change is inevitable, always hard, but so necessary in this earthly pilgrimage where we practice for our heavenly pilgrimage to follow.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.
Each parishioner is requested to attend one 30 minute meeting to pick up pledge packets and hear a presentation by the Rector, Wardens, and Treasurer on the Vestry’s vision for 2019 and our need for improved financial stewardship of our gifts from God. Those meetings will be in the Nave and are scheduled as follows:
Sunday, October 7, at 11:45
Sunday, October 14, at 11:45
Sunday, October 21, at 11:45
Those unable to attend will be called on by canvassers. Pledge cards are due on November 4.
St. John’s encourages tithing, the giving of 10% of our financial resources to God’s work in the world through the Church, because we know that giving is integral to spiritual growth. The Rector tithes and each member of the Vestry is either tithing or working toward that goal. Please identify for yourself the percentage of your resources that you will give and develop a plan to become a tither.