Summer 2020 Newsletter (PDF)
From the Interim Priest
Bishop Gayle Harris recently wrote a reflection on John the Baptist. She noted that he was called to a ministry that would, by design, result in John making way and becoming “diminished by the rise of his younger cousin.” Not to compare myself to John the Baptist, or the new Priest-in-Charge as Jesus, I understand the role of becoming diminished. As an interim, I have chosen to be temporary; I would not become your settled Rector. Never-the-less, I have built an incredible fondness for you, the people of St. Stephen’s. I have been challenged by the dynamism of the parish, the insistence on social justice as well as the complicated realities of being the most diverse parish I have ever had the pleasure of being a part. You have challenged me, and I have had to grow and change.
In my time at St. Stephen’s, I have moved deeper into the heart of Jesus. This has happened in the little events, the one-on-one talks about the most important things in your lives. It has also happened in the big events, no matter how chaotic they may appear. My first week at St. Stephen’s included the Harvest Fair. I was introduced to the many different things going on here as well as the invitation to be Christ body in this world.
It is now time for me to get my things in order and say goodbye so you can enthusiastically welcome the Rev. Gregory Perez as your Priest-in-Charge. My last day here will be on Sunday August 16th. (See below about our physically distancing bring your own Picnic, gathering at noon on the 16th.) I will do my best to reach out to as many of you as I can. However, I also invite you to contact me: 978-394-3159 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be available in early September to help orient and support Rev. Greg. Beyond that I will have to remove myself from the day-to-day life of the parish. My plans are to seek out another interim position in Northeastern Massachusetts.
My role at St. Stephen’s will diminish but your place in my heart will not. May we rejoice in the power of the Holy Spirit that has brought us together as well as in God’s continue grace and love as it is lived out at St. Stephen’s.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Thank You, Rev. Tom!
Sunday, August 16th will be Rev. Tom’s last Sunday with us. Tom came to us in November 2017 to serve with us as our Interim Priest while the parish looked for a permanent priest. Now that we have a Priest-in-Charge arriving in September, it is time for us to thank Tom for being with us for over two and half years. Since we cannot gather for in-person worship yet, after the 10:00 am Zoom worship service, at noon, if you are healthy and feel safe, we invite you to come to the church side yard, outside the Davidson Open Doorway for A PHYSICAL DISTANCING PICNIC. Due to regulations, we cannot share or serve food, so pack your own lunch, bring a blanket or chairs, do remember your face masks, and join us in saying thank you to Tom. We are wishing him Godspeed with the next parish he will serve during their transition process. Should it be raining that day, we will gather in our cars in the parking lot. Face masks must be worn (except while consuming your food) and social distancing must be practiced. If you are unable to come to the picnic, there will be time at the end of Zoom worship to talk with Tom.