I began my ministry with you as Interim Rector at St. Martin’s almost two years ago. Three days from now, July 25, will be my last Sunday with you. Your new Rector, The Reverend Alan Bentrup, will lead you in worship on August 1.
I write with mixed emotions to say farewell and express gratitude for the opportunity to share Christ’s work with you during this season of transition. We have worked together to remember and celebrate the history of the parish, to clarify your present-day identity, to manage changes in leadership, to strengthen ties with the wider Church, and to prepare for commitment to a new era of mission with your new Rector. We have wrestled with a pandemic and learned many things in the process. We have explored the joys of faithful stewardship, envisioned a robust new program of Christian formation for all ages, developed and populated a new model for mission and governance, reached out in love to our neighbors in need, and expressed lavish hospitality to newcomers seeking a spiritual home. It will make my heart glad to know that these experiences have made you ready for the days ahead. For, as St. Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi, "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
We are confident that you will welcome your new Rector, Alan, his family, Elizabeth, Ford, and, Walker, with the same strong, generous, open arms that welcomed us. We are also confident that your ministry together will result in transformed lives and much thanksgiving to God.
Many have asked about our plans for the future. We’ll be taking a vacation in August. Upon our return, Gay will continue her artistic pursuits, including some online teaching, and I plan to undertake a few projects at our home in Arlington. I expect that my future service to The Episcopal Church will be primarily consulting and mentoring.
You are most welcome to stay in touch with us. We want to know what is happening in your lives and in the life of this parish so we can cheer you on from the “great cloud of witnesses.” However, my role as your Priest will be concluded. Your new Rector and his family will need every opportunity to establish a relationship with you. So, I will not be coming back or performing sacramental or liturgical rites for St. Martin’s. We’ve moved before and have seen the wisdom in this practice. We continue to have wonderful friends from every place we’ve ever served and everyone understands that we now play a different role in their lives. Please make a note of the following contact information:
Ron and Gay Pogue
5805 Dry Creek Lane
Arlington, Texas 76017
Gay’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gay’s Phone: 409-939-9975
Gay’s Blog: http://angelsnakes.com/
May God bless St. Martin’s and may God bless each of you in your spiritual journey. I remain convinced that the greatest days of this parish lie in the future. You and those God leads to you in the future will have the joy of remaining open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discover what new things God wants to accomplish through this vibrant and welcoming community of faith. We love you and will keep you in our prayers. We ask that you also keep us in your prayers as God’s new day unfolds!
The Very Reverend Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church