Letter to parish from The Rev. Canon Ogle
Sunday 21st September 2014
Wakening this bright and holy Sunday morning, my thoughts and prayers went to St. Peter’s, Lithgow, as you all heard the breaking news that you have a new Vicar.
It is an honor and privilege for me to be called by your Vestry as the 31st Vicar of St. Peter’s and I am very much looking forward to being with you in mid-October. This 15-month-long discernment process involved many people, including clergy candidates, the Diocese of New York, a diligent Search Committee, the staff and Vestry and many people who gave references about each candidate. The key goal was to find a match between the gifts and experience of a priest to complement the future imagined ministry of the people of God of St. Peter’s.
This careful process was professionally and sensitively handled by all of the above and it was a remarkable team effort. From my early conversations with Betsy Shequine and Woody Keesee, as Search Committee Chairs, to subsequent meetings with colleagues on the Search Committee and Vestry, these exchanges have all been so engaging and God is clearly calling us into shared ministry together. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life and ministry and I am very excited about it all.
Chris Mann conveyed this news to Ed Johnston and it was a wonderful treat for me to speak personally by telephone with Ed. I have heard so many good things about him and his predecessor, Brewster Beach. Ed had great words of encouragement for me about his 15 years of ministry with you. I plan to attend services beginning October 12th and enjoy the final scheduled weeks of your acclaimed guest preacher series. Although I love preaching, I know that we can find a way for these important voices and insights to continue to give us strength for the journey ahead.
I am so grateful for the ways in which Chris Mann and Will Morlock are making the transition for me and my partner, Mile Petrov, as flawless as possible. Our final move will be in November, which gives me time to simply be present with you. I am grateful to John and Claire Reid and Jim and Zibby Tozer for offering hospitality during my first few months while the Vicarage is made ready, and for the kindness of June and Peter Felix, who are making their vehicle available to me for the first few months. Everyone has been so welcoming and generous to us and we are excited about becoming a part of the Millbrook community. It will be an honor to serve in the Diocese of New York where I have some wonderful friends who will also help us with the transition.
So, as the seasons change and the green leaves of summer turn golden and return to the earth that gave them life, so each one of us is called to find the place where we find that place of eternal changelessness. So many of you have clearly found this sacred place in St. Peter’s. I am looking forward to ensuring St. Peter’s noble tradition of worship, preaching, teaching and pastoral care – all that you treasure most about community life in Millbrook – will enter a new season.
Thank you for this call. It means so much to us.
Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle