Though I have known this day would come eventually, it does not make it any easier to announce that Mother Lisa has accepted the call to be Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Camden, Maine. Mother Lisa’s final Sunday with Saint Mark’s will be June 4, the Feast of Pentecost. I hope to see all of you in church that Sunday for a glorious send-off. While I am sad for St. Mark’s, I am very happy for Lisa. She has been a wonderful colleague, and has helped us all grow in our ministries. Lisa is well prepared to be a rector and will be a tremendous blessing to her new parish. I am very proud of her.
Here is Mother Lisa’s letter to St. Mark’s:
Well, my friends, the day has come. It is with great emotion that I tell you that I have been called to be the Rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Camden, Maine, and I have accepted. My final day at St. Mark’s will be Pentecost Sunday—June 4—and I hope I will see all of you there.
I can’t imagine leaving here. I work for the best mentor a person could ever hope for: a man of unshakeable integrity, endless patience, a curiosity about life and the human condition, and incredible love and support for his staff and parishioners. He has truly made me the priest I am today.
The staff at St. Mark’s reminds me a little of a large family—without the typical family dramas and problems. I have never worked in a place where there was such a strong sense of encouragement, mutual respect, and laughter—so much laughter. So many talented people in one place…
And then there is you: the parishioners. You’ve taught me more than I could ever hope to teach you. You’ve prayed with me, prayed for me, stood with me through painful experiences, and allowed me to share yours. You’ve taught me all about courage, hard work, and the true meaning of “bless your heart!”
I will never forget you.
I go to a small pastoral sized parish in Maine, about an hour from my parent’s house. Camden is a small city right on the water in the mid-coastal region. I will have to remember what it’s like to live in a tourist destination and to have Sunday attendance double in the summertime. I hope you will all visit me.
Please keep me, my whole extended family, and my new community in your prayers. You will surely be in mine.
Meanwhile, continue to grow: both in numbers and in ministries. This is an extraordinary parish. You may be tempted to brush off that compliment—but don’t. I’ve been at many different parishes, and this one is really something special. There’s a love here that is palpable; you have found the grace to listen to each other, while respecting differences. Do you realize how rare that is?
It is said that “God acts upon us inescapably through the people who touch and influence our lives. “ You are those people.
God bless you,