• Elizabeth de Veer

An announcement from Father Bret

Dear Friends in Christ, Serving as your Rector for the last ten years has been a privilege and a joy. These have been some of the best years of my life. We have accomplished a lot together, and I believe our church's best days lie ahead. But another priest will have the privilege of sharing that joy with you. I have been called as Rector of the Church of the Advent in Tallahassee, Florida. My last Sunday with you will be May 30. Between now and then, I will be primarily focused on the needs of the members of Saint John's, and the parish's needs as an organization. Anyone who wants to talk with me one-on-one should schedule a meeting during that time. Then I will take my three remaining weeks of vacation for this year in order to focus on my own needs in this transition. While I know this news will come as a heavy moment for many of you, I hope that you may come to see it in a more positive light. We will celebrate our time together before I go. And you will have the chance to look to — and to shape — the future of Saint John's Church in the spirit of hopeful expectation that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. As I have said in my preaching, God hasn't brought us this far only to let us down. So I have every reason to think you will find excellent clergy to help you continue in your spiritual journey. After I leave Saint John's, I want you to know that I will no longer have a pastoral relationship with you. The privileges of offering pastoral care and officiating at baptisms, weddings, or funerals for parishioners of Saint John's will belong to my successor. I will also take care not to talk about parish matters with you; those should likewise be discussed with the new clergy, or other with other parish leaders. After leaving, I will not be writing notes in the FYI, editing the Web site, or posting on the church's Facebook page. And I will return to Saint John's only at the next Rector's invitation. While I love you all very much, it is important for me to observe these practices so that whoever comes after me is free to exercise the ministry that they have been called to offer with you. In the coming weeks, we will have chances to say goodbye to each other and to reflect on the ministry we have offered together in Christ’s name in this place. I know that you will offer your next Rector your support, your encouragement, and your prayers as together you begin a new season of ministry. I'll be offering those things too, in private. Please know of my prayers and my deep gratitude for you, and for the ministry we have shared. Yours in Christ, The Rev. Bret B. Hays

Note from the Wardens: Many of us are experiencing both the sadness of our loss of Bret's ministry with us, and all the blessings his time at St. John's has brought to our community. We also feel in our hearts sincere hope that he will have much happiness and success in his new position. With his leadership and God's grace, we will navigate this changing time prepared and equipped to enter the planning for the next chapter for our Parish. We will keep you up-to-date on the tasks and timelines that lie ahead. There are steps and protocols to be followed in our journey, and this work will move forward as it must. All our members will have a chance to be a part of this process in a capacity that you decide is just right for you. Our first step is to pause and celebrate all the wonderful accomplishments and time we have spent with Bret. There will be opportunities to say good-bye and wish him well. Parts of this process may feel hard, but with your love, support and prayers we cannot fail to find the right way forward. As we navigate our future together, please do not hesitate to contact us with any suggestions or concerns. Your Wardens, Karen Kasper kckasper@comcast.net 978 302-7814 Ellen Sibley sibley17rockyneck@comcast.net 978 290-2115

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