It's now official (except I'm still waiting for paperwork to sign), that my first call assignment is to be the new vicar of a mission church in Frederick County, MD! The congregation is known as The Gathering and was launched about 8 years ago in Walkersville, MD. They've been through some huge changes in the past year and have been without a priest since last August. They are restarting the mission in the Buckeystown/Urbana area and worshiping at the Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown MD.
So I'm very excited about the future prospects for this mission "reboot" and we have a lot of work to do, but it's good stuff with great people. St. Francis of Assisi said, "God gave me brothers and sisters" and this community is truly a gift from God.
But it's also with a heavy heart that I leave my internship site this Sunday. St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Hancock MD has been my spiritual home for the past two academic years. Beautiful and caring community with a really amazing rector who trusted me to do things that a lot of clergy might not have. Of course, Allan+ has impeccable taste too - he's married to my dear friend and mentor, Anne+ who is the rector of my home congregation, St. Mark's Episcopal in Lappans, MD. I'll return to St. Mark's for just a few weeks before going to The Gathering. Two farewells in the same month ... I'm buying a stockpile of Kleenex.
My youngest daughter (who according to her grandfather has the "explainer gene") explained how all of this change will work out for me, even if she couldn't remember the name of the new congregation. She said, "Now you belong to three churches Mom." When I asked her what she meant, she replied, "Well, some of you belongs to St. Thomas' and some of you belongs to St. Mark's and now some of you belongs to ... um ... St. Something-Or-Other."
Let's hear it for "St. Something-Or-Other!" God knows who she meant.