Taking my talents to south Beach….or near there…(and yes this is tongue-in-cheek)
One week. In one week I hit the road for beautiful Delray Beach, Florida where I begin my time as Interim Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
The last few weeks have been wild. We accepted the call and then had to let some other folks know we would not continue to discern with them. That was really hard. Jen and I spent a week at the beach with Brayden, what a great time. It is very hard to know we won’t see him as often but he will always be part of our lives and we will see him as much as we can.
I will remain canonically resident in the Diocese of Mississippi, which makes me happy. My first week in Delray coincides with Clergy Conference in the Diocese of SE Florida, and it’s in Delray, so I look forward to meeting new clergy friends right off the bat. As President of the Standing Committee, I’ve been wrapping things up in that arena and especially dealing with the Bishop Search progress while preparing to hand all that off to the S.C. soon. On August 15th the clergy of the Diocese met to discuss our hopes and dreams for our next Bishop, and I was very glad to attend and say some goodbyes. I love this Diocese and feel so supported and loved by my fellow clergy. It’s a special place for sure. Missing THAT Clergy Conference is not something I want to talk about!
Last week Jen and I traveled to Delray and looked at lots of potential places to rent, but have not decided yet. It’s difficult. We thankfully have been offered a place to stay until mid-October, so we have a little time to make a decision. Pray for us!
We returned Wednesday night and then on Thursday went to our daughter, Mackenzie’s house that she and husband Wynne had bought a few months ago. Kenzie had asked me to bless the house before we left, so I dutifully printed off some house blessing handouts, and with stole in hand, we walked in her door only to find a surprise going away party with many of our long-time Jackson friends from the old neighborhood we lived in before leaving for seminary in 1999. It was a great surprise and really wonderful.
I spent yesterday at what will most likely be my final in-person Standing Committee meeting and tomorrow we go to Hattiesburg where my family (3 of my brothers and their families and my parents) will gather for another goodbye. This is HARD and exciting.
So the plan is for me to drive down on Friday so I can be at services over the weekend (the church has one on Saturday and four on Sunday). Jennifer will join me once we have a place to live and are ready to move our stuff, I will come back for the move of course.
Delray is lovely and the church is awesome. It’s a long way but we hope and expect lots of visitors! Your prayers are always welcome. And many of my St. James’ friends asked me to keep this blog up to date so expect more frequent posts over the next year or so. Speaking of St. James’ – I really miss all of you guys!
And Mississippi folks – I will be at Annual Council and have another gig (that I cannot announce yet) in January that is a real honor to participate in. More when I can say more!
Come on down to sunny South Florida! We would love to see you. Until then – Peace and God Bless.