On August 1st, I begin my new role as half-time Interim Priest-in-Charge at St. Thomas in Chilliwack. I will remain as Priest-in-Charge (Vicar) of St. Matthew, Abbotsford. This change is, I believe, what is best for both parishes. My prayer is that St. Matthew will be enabled by this move to stand more on its "own two feet," financially and move towards becoming financially independent of a diocesan subsidy. After starting with just a few folk in 2011 we are now ready and willing to take the next steps of maturity. The image I've been using with the congregation and that seems to be resonating during personal conversations is that of "a young adult ready to move out on her own." The move to half-time priestly ministry at St. Matthew is part of a missional plan; it is made possible by the growth of the church in maturity, both in spirituality and vision.
It is serendipitous that St. Thomas was in need of a half-time priest at just the right time! St. Thomas is an historic parish of close to one hundred fifty years of age; they are presently ready and willing to face their next challenge: how to move back into a capacity ready and willing to receive full-time priestly ministry after the death of some long-time patrons who gave generously to the general operating budget. I relish the challenge of praying and planning with them as together we seek to live into God's good future for St. Thomas.
This is a new partnership! We are sharing in priestly and ecclesial fellowship in the same Christ who is present in both of our communities. With each other's help and service, we will both grow and flourish in the communities and neighborhoods where God has placed us. I look forward to the adventure that is ahead for all of us!