the rules are strict

Pastor Kathleen said goodbye to us on 11 September. She had announced her retirement earlier in the summer, so we all knew that the day was coming. Attendance was high for the 10:30 service and the congregation was sad. Kathleen departed from the standard Pentecost green in favor of Advent blue. The parament on the lectern was the Alpha Omega symbol. Just as at the end of the three-part “All Good Things” that brought Star Trek: The Next Generation to a close, there was a conclusion and all was wrapped up. We had closure.

alpha omegaThat was a good thing, because in the Episcopal Church the rule is strict. The departing priest is not allowed to have contact with members of her former parish. There is good reason for this. It is important that we as a parish look forward and not back. We have a profile to write, a search committee to form, and a new rector to call. An interim priest who specializes in assisting congregations in this process will join us in due time.

I was never a high-maintenance parishioner. But I knew if I had a question, needed assistance, or just wanted to share something I could send Kathleen an email and I would get a prompt and helpful response. But no more. Kathleen knows the rules and would not respond to my email were I to send her one.

I will miss Pastor Kathleen. We all will. But the process is clear and the process tells us to move forward.



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