From the Vestry: (October 21, 2020)
The Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson has announced that she is retiring effective Jan. 10, 2021.
We, the people of Good Shepherd wish her good health and happy times during her retirement. It is difficult to express the gratitude for all she has done for our church in the last 5+ years.
The vestry and congregation plan to honor and thank her formally and, be assured, that all who come after us will know of the love and service Rev. Dr. Suzi Robertson gave for us. We are sad for us but so happy for Suzi. It is our hope that Suzi and our beloved “first man” Nolen Holcomb enjoy a rich and wonderful retirement. They will be in our prayers and thoughts always.
Your vestry has already started the process of discerning the steps necessary to find the right priest to call to Good Shepherd. With help from Bishop Mayer, Canon Janet Waggoner and others from the diocese, we feel confident that we will find an exceptional candidate for Good Shepherd.
But for now, let the focus of our last two months with Suzi, our worship, our outreach, and our love for one another be guided, as always, by the teachings of Jesus.
For the Vestry,
From Dr. Suzi Robertson
Dear people of God,
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (American Standard Version)
3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every [a]purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Although there has been gracious insistence from our revered bishop, and my family, that the time I should need is mine to make this announcement, to withhold the inevitable would not be fair to anyone. Everything has a beginning and an end, and my time with you is nearing the latter. I am announcing at this time that January 10th, my 69th birthday, will be my last Sunday with you. I will be returning from vacation on November 1, and we will have a grand All Saints celebration, to celebrate the Saints of the church, especially those at Good Shepherd.
Please know that I love and cherish each of you, and the over 5 years we have spent, together, what we have accomplished, the variety of communities we have built within one larger community. During this time, Good Shepherd has officially become a parish, according to diocesan canons, and that is really something to celebrate. I would dare say that we are one of the most visible parishes in the diocese.
I am not aware of how the bishop’s office and vestry will supply the church with clergy, going forward, but now would not be a bad time to begin praying for all of them, that they make wise and faithful decisions, and that you receive a faithful priest. I know that this staff will carry the church as long as they are asked, and I am so grateful to have been able to work among such talented, wise and compassionate staff people.
Most of you know that when I planned my retirement in January of 2015, I really intended to retire. It was those fateful and convincing phone calls from Bishop High and Ian Moore that called me in another direction. I am so proud those phone calls came, and I am also proud to leave Good Shepherd to a new season, with the total approval of my conscience. After January 10th, I will be close enough to see you from a distance, and rejoicing in your successes. But, I won’t be your priest, any longer. The pastoral, liturgical and priestly work will be up to others, and I will not be assuming any of those roles. In the Episcopal Church, it does not work well for former clergy to hang around, and it would impede the progress you would make without me. I am going to take a long rest and enjoy things I have not done with my family for 45 years, and I am really looking forward to it. The ordinary person probably doesn’t realize that a priest rarely, or never, spends Christmas, a long Thanksgiving weekend, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, et al, with her or his family. It is time for me to do that. Life is short. My father died at age 71, and my mother became severely disabled at age 67. After a period of time, I may emerge and you may see me around the diocese. The spirit will lead me.
During the time we have left, I will be passing on things that are in my head and heart, to the staff and vestry. If you want anything you have shared in confidence or trust with me, I’ll be happy to make sure to request that you are taken care of, when I am no longer at Good Shepherd. Also, during this time, I will be removing personal things from my office and a few other places, leaving much of it for your future use, as we have become accustomed to it being ours. Now, much of it will be yours. You can also expect some beautiful worship and thought and heart filled sermons, during this time.
I will always think of you when I see cornerstones laid, when children acolyte, at baptisms, funerals and at the Holy Table of Christ. I hope to see you all on November 1. I will be planning that service, and will give you more details, as we get closer to the time.
God bless you all!
The Rev’d Dr. Suzi Robertson
Priest in Charge
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