At right, depending on your browser, you may see a photo of a contented Rector, taken after Palm Sunday services a couple of weeks back by one of our beloveds, Gretchen Alspach.
I am one blessed fellow, graced with the helm of a leading parish in our Diocese, and proud to serve fine, substantive, and dedicated folk…spiritual finders more than spiritual seekers…people who have located and are creating a habitation for the Holy One within Whom they dwell.
Now, as Easter Season arrives in full bloom, I am off on Sabbatical. Who gets to do that? Academics and clergy and who else?
When St. Edmund’s and I met and fell in love in 1995, then Senior Warden Brian Tyler wrote ‘a sabbatical’ into my “letter of agreement.” I wasn’t convinced this was a good idea. Rectors, surely, must always be available and on site. Brian Tyler has, through the passing years, convinced me of his wisdom!
Six years ago, I spent some months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, sharpening my Spanish and writing ‘The Prayers of the People,’ published by St. Mark’s Press, used each Sunday at St. Edmund’s, and at other parishes around the country.
I’ll venture first with a cousin to Mexico, and then solo to Madrid where I’ll be enrolled in an excellent language school HERE and renting an apartment a short distance from the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, so there will be no want of culture.
We are well-positioned for my sabbatical leave with an able Vestry, led by Senior Warden Sylvia Smythe and Junior Warden Steve Rolfe; with Treasurer Gail Rolfe, and with as fine an Office Staff as may be wanted in Administrator Valerie Guitron, Secretary Isabel Roa, and Bookkeeper Gladys Vazquez.
Taking the rudder will be my esteemed colleague, the Reverend Canon Colville Smythe, or, as I refer to him at times…”the Real Deal,” a deeply committed priest and trusted friend who shares my values and my vows in Holy Orders. Canon Smythe will be assisted by the Reverend Canon Judith Heffron and by the Reverend Heather Blackstone, both also deeply esteemed and trusted colleagues. There will be no lack of pastoral care during my absence.
You will be in my daily prayers as you continue our shared labor. Inscribe the world for Christ’s Gospel this Eastertide and coming Pentecost season, and show me good harvest upon return late August.
With affection and Pascal Blessing,
Dave Ford has prepared handsome albums of old photos of life at St. Edmund’s, which will be from time to time on view in the Close during Easter Season!
The remains of five “lost” Archbishops of Canterbury have been discovered HERE
The lessons appointed for April 23rd, 2017, the Second Sunday of Easter, are HERE.
Read “The Lead” from Episcopal Café HERE
The PTA at Valentine Elementary works hard to raise funds to augment the arts, science and technology programs offered to students. The Parent Party is the largest fundraiser of the year and this year was co- chaired by our own Shannon Snaer. The evening titled “Sweet Magnolia Nights” was a wonderful success for the PTA and, most importantly, the students. We’re proud of you Shannon and congratulations on a beautiful event!