It has been my great privilege to serve as your interim rector this past year. St. Matthew’s is a wonderful, healthy parish that is poised on the frontier, ready to sing new songs of Zion under the leadership of your new rector. My task has been to challenge you and invite you to look at new ways of being after the long, faithful ministry that nurtured you for so long. The Holy Spirit will be your guide as you embrace the journey ahead. It will be different, because your new pastor is different than those who have come before but will build on the good work that has been done until now. I must say that nothing in my priesthood until now prepared me for this pandemic moment and all the chaos we have experienced in our culture, but God surrounded me with you, an incredibly gifted staff and people and we found ways forward together to continue worshipping and studying in new ways.
You are now charged with welcoming your new clergy family. You will want to find ways to tell your story to them and learn their story from them so that the two stories may blend well into God’s journey for the future. Be patient with your new rector as he learns your stories, your culture, and as you learn his stories and ways of knowing. Assume that he will only learn of you and St. Matthew’s if you tell him the stories. Be kind to his wife and children and they will nurture and sustain him.
My last Sunday with you will be November 22, 2020. There will be a few Sundays between my departure and your new rector’s first Sunday. This will give you a chance to anticipate with joy the beginning of the new ministry.
Ahead for me is retirement from full time ministry. I will be focusing on four things I love in “retirement”. I will spend more time with Rachael and our sons and their families. I will have more time to spend with the Third Order, Society of St. Francis both in the Province of the Americas and internationally as I continue the work I have been doing in Lifelong Faith Formation. And I will continue my work for the diocese as consultant to troubled parishes and mentor to young priests.
My love and prayers will continue.
The Rev. Canon Peter B. Stube