Dear Disciples of Ascension.
I want to thank all of you for the wonderful retirement send off you gave me the week end of All Saints. The celebration on Saturday was incredible. It took the work of so many. It was filled with such kind words, wonderful music and great food. The gifts, well wishes, and the way you welcomed my family and friends from other parishes was so kind of you all. Thank you, Thank you.
Our worship together on Sunday, for me, was simply Spirit filled. It is a powerful Sunday in our faith tradition anyway and to add the time of my leave taking – well I am simply filled to the brim with gratitude and love. After the reception, I went back to the sacristy to hang up my Alb and stole. Somebody had left but a few lights in the center of the chancel: all the candles were extinguished and the lower altar for the remembrance of dia de los Muertos, the upper altar, the lectern and the pulpit were softly illumed in the few lights. I was alone in the now silent sanctuary. The smell of candles and the warmth of the room still hung in the air. I cannot describe the sense of peace and thanksgiving I felt at that moment. I simply wept a prayer before I left that holy space.
Joanie and I thank you dear people for your gifts of love, for the gifts of remembrance, and for the monetary gifts we will use for a wonderful trip. You are so kind and generous.
May God continue to guide you in your witness and ministry. You are a beacon of hope, a place of sanctuary, and a congregation with a strong vision and mission. Ascension, it was an honor to travel with you these past 26 years. We are overwhelmed with gratitude.
In Christ’s love,
Pr. Jon and Joan.