Dear friends at Grace,
I am writing to you with bittersweet news: I have accepted a call as the next rector of St. Clare of Assisi in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and my last Sunday at Grace will be October 31.
While Myles and I are incredibly excited for this new adventure, it is bittersweet because we have also been incredibly happy here at Grace. I have loved so much about being your assistant rector: working with Rev. Amy, Erika, and the rest of our staff, being a part of this community’s deep tradition of prayer and commitment to growth and transformation, learning about God alongside our children, and just sharing the joys, challenges, and many surprises that these last 3 years have brought us all. And of course, you were the community that supported us as we welcomed Isaiah; we are leaving with much more than we arrived with! I will miss you all very much, and there is much from what we’ve learned and experienced together that I will carry with me into the rest of my life and ministry.
I wasn’t actually looking for a new job! I stumbled across St. Clare’s parish profile unexpectedly, and it deeply resonated with what Myles and I had just begun to define and discern about what we’d hope for in our next congregation and home. St. Clare’s is a unique church; it has shared a building for decades in a unique relationship with Temple Beth Emeth, a Reform Jewish congregation. Ministry with children and families have always been at the heart of their identity, and they also have a robust group of outreach ministries, and they love music. I have been struck by their honesty about their past challenges and pain and also by their curiosity and energy in thinking about the future. Moving to Ann Arbor will also take us closer to our extended family and is a place where we’re really looking forward to putting down roots. Though unexpected, the process has felt very clear and guided by God, and so we are trusting in God’s continued guidance, even as we set off into the unknown!
I know that God is similarly guiding Grace, as God always has. Rev. Amy will have more to share about different areas of transition in the coming weeks, but the song and prayer and reminder that What We Need Is Here remains as true as it always has. I know that Grace will continue to be a community of love and joy and healing, though the shape of that community will change and evolve (just as it always has!)
We’ll have plenty of opportunities for connection and goodbyes. In addition to Sundays, I’ll plan to spend the next 3 Tuesdays hanging out on the labyrinth from 4:30-6:00 pm if anyone wants to connect, and please do reach out if you’d like to connect at another time.
And if you’re ever in Michigan, we’ll expect to hear from you! And if we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that God’s love, which binds us together as the body of Christ, is so much stronger than any kind of separation.