Just after 2:00 pm yesterday, in the absence of our Senior and Junior Wardens, both of whom were out of town, Geneve Huxley, Treasurer of St. Paul’s, and I signed the required documents for the sale of our property at 1208 W. Elizabeth at the First American Title Insurance Company in Fort Collins. Also present at the signing were Becky Sheller, Jim Steinborn, Charlotte Leighton and Judy Matthews, faithful pilgrims on the journey. Our buyer, EdR, signed the final paperwork today, and the money is in our savings account.
This part of our journey is finally over!
It is an overwhelming moment for all of us for so many reasons. It will, no doubt, take a while for us to collect our thoughts and begin to process what has just happened before we embark on the next phase – where to next? I urge you to take this time just to be. Much work lies ahead, but for now, let us all just rest in this space, trusting that as God has brought us to this point, so God will take us to the next.
Of all the many feelings I felt yesterday as I drove along the foothills of the Rockies in the glorious evening light, uppermost was a profound sense of gratitude. For the journey. For all of you. For everything!
So, I would like to take a moment, in my role as your Interim Rector, to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone at St. Paul’s for the vital roles you have played in getting us to this place. I am sure I speak on behalf of the parish in extending very special thanks to Mike Werner and Becky Sheller, our 2016 Wardens, and Rhoda Robinson and John Williams, our current Wardens, whose intense engagement, dedication and skills have been pivotal in bringing our period of exploration and discernment to completion. I want to thank two extraordinary Vestries whose willingness to speak openly and honestly, to ask hard questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, while remaining connected in a spirit of respect and love, has done you all proud. Thank you to those who have participated in groups created in response to our unique and constantly changing situations. The momentum resulting from your energy and wisdom has contributed significantly to our corporate health and strength over these many months. I want to thank every one of you whose presence and prayer week in and week out have continued to lift us all up, and to remind us of why we are who we as beloved children of God. And, of course, thank you to God, to whom we owe everything!
Like all transitions, there have been challenging moments, yet you have persevered. Your faithfulness, your willingness to “live in the question,” and to “keep on keeping on,” your openness, your charity and your grace bear testament to the unique gift you are to this world, and to God’s light in you that will continue to shine as long as you let it.
As you move forward, you take with you the spirit of all St. Paul’s saints - Malcolm Boyd and Father Bacon – to name a few, who laid the foundations for a community that stood up for justice and peace, and who bore witness to authenticity and integrity, regardless of the cost. I believe that these values are part of St. Paul’s DNA. They are Gospel values – and as long as you continue to live in the spirit of God’s truth and love, you can never go wrong. As much as in any time in human history, St. Paul’s and this Episcopal Church are needed in this world. In the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are called to bear prophetic witness to God’s values with single-mindedness. We are called into solidarity with all our brothers and sisters on this planet; we are called to participate in God’s mission of healing, reconciliation, and renewal; we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves; we are called to love God. Each one of us is called by name to continue to follow Jesus, in whose name and power we continue our journey.
As we take our next steps, may we allow God’s words, said in so many ways, to so many people, throughout the ages, direct our hearts and minds: “Be not afraid - I will strengthen you - I will help you - and remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Blessings to you all.