In just two days, I’ll be stepping down as Rector of St. Nick’s Episcopal Church, here in Midland, Texas. For the first time in many, many years, I will be without a job. I will be getting used to this thing we call retirement! My dementia will be joining me on this quest, of course, and adding mischief to it. At times, it seems my brain just has to take a leave of absence!
Like all of you, I don’t know how life will go, from this moment as I write this. Our human warranties are only good for the present moment. Just minutes from now, our lives could suddenly be much different. Such thoughts have been on my mind, as I continue on my journey.
The truth is that I am very weary. Enough so, that I omitted a sizable chunk of last Sundays liturgy. Unfortunately, it has become a more consistent pattern. More of my brain cells evidently just aren’t firing. I’ve had to stop pretending that things will eventually get better.
Having served as St. Nick’s Rector has been my greatest privilege. They were an awesome bunch when I got there, and even more so as I leave! They understand that Jesus is in love with his whole creation. He knows we all have warts and things, but he loves us as we are. Jesus loves us, despite our imperfections. St. Nick’s is full of folks who have come to understand that. They radiate their love of Jesus Christ. There is no litmus test, to come and worship with them. They know we each must find our way back home to our Creator. It’s a sacred road we each travel, and we help one another share the load of making our common journey.
For me, the words in the Burial Rite of the Book of Common Prayer have taken on new meaning. Life has changed, not ended. I leave the role of Rector, but I continue on that road that leads to life in Jesus Christ. Like all of you, I have my ups and downs, but those come with any worthwhile journey. And despite all the bumps I’ve encountered on the road, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I thank you for your many comments and good wishes. Please, keep sending me a prayer or two, when you have a moment. If I don’t respond to you, it’s not that I don’t want to. Dementia is a much demanding companion on the road that I am traveling. And for those of you that are around this weekend, I look forward to sharing the love of Christ with each of you on Sunday!