Dear members and friends of St. James, Caledon East,
This morning I announced that my time at St. James is coming to an end, as I have named the next Rector of St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit and Dean of the Diocese of the Arctic. This position begins on November 28th, the First Sunday in Advent. Therefore, my last Sunday here at St. James will be November 21st, just two weeks today. Although that is very soon, I trust it will be enough time to say our goodbyes.
Amy and I wish to thank all of you for a great three years here at St. James. You have been a truly wonderful congregation for us. I thank God for the many good things we did together in ministry, including numerous improvements to this beautiful building, a new church website, and most importantly, welcoming new members and adult baptisms. And we have continued in ministry and mission despite the hardships of the pandemic.
We are certainly sad to leave, and also excited for this new ministry to which we’ve been called. As many of you know, I have a heart for the North because of time in northern Saskatchewan. So it’s a natural fit for me in that regard.
Even though moving to Nunavut is a drastic change for our family, we really did feel God calling us there and leading us throughout the discernment process. And it was a difficult discernment process in no small part because of our love for you here at St. James.
There is much good news for you in all of this. The next priest-in-charge will be the Rev. Michelle Jones, who is known to many of you, as she was a parishioner here at St. James some years ago. Michelle is a very gifted priest who brings a peaceful and prayerful presence. She lives locally here in Caledon and has a heart for this community. You will be in very good hands indeed.
St. James has a very bright future. As you all know, with the new housing developments being built, the population of Caledon East is set to explode in future years. So there is an enormous growth opportunity for this church. You are set up well for that future because of the immensely gifted core of lay leadership that you have.
So again, we remember and give thanks for the wonderful three years we had together, and look forward to the promising future ahead for you.
Finally, the wardens and I have had some preliminary discussions about ways we could continue our relationship. I know that St. James has a heart for the North and so it’s possible we could establish a ministry partnership of some kind. Please do visit us in Iqaluit! You may have seen photos of St. Jude’s Cathedral, the igloo church. We would love to have you.
Please do pray for Amy and I (and especially Amy) as we prepare to move our young family to Baffin Island in the winter!
If you have questions or concerns about this announcement, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
I’ll close with these words from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which beautifully express my great affection for all of you, my thanksgiving for our time together, and the great hope I have for your future:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.