March 8, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I write to you today to announce that I have been called to serve as the next Rector of the Parish of Christ the Redeemer in Pelham Manor, New York. I am looking forward to what lies ahead, but I am also very sad to leave Good Shepherd.
One of the highest joys and honors of my life has been to serve as your priest and rector since 2009. I have grown so much as a Christian and as a priest, and you have helped me learn how to be a rector. I have been blessed to worship Jesus Christ and celebrate the Sacraments each week with you. You have helped me understand more clearly what the Body of Christ looks like. We have worshipped, prayed, laughed, cried, cooked, and cleaned together. We have worked side by side growing the church in every way. We have more than doubled the number of people who worship at Good Shepherd each week. We have grown as stewards of our property and finances by repairing, rebuilding, and improving our beautiful buildings and grounds, vastly increasing congregational giving, and making difficult decisions that ensure our endowment will grow and be available for future generations. Because of your dedication and love of this wonderful parish and community, Good Shepherd is a model of a healthy and vibrant congregation for the entire Episcopal Church.
I have begun working with Maria and Rick, our Parish Wardens, as they plan and prepare for this transition. God has blessed Good Shepherd with dedicated wardens, officers, vestry members, ministry leaders, former wardens, and former vestry members. In particular I ask your prayers and support for Maria and Rick who, with the help of Canon Deborah Tammearu, our Diocesan Canon for Transitional Ministry, will guide Good Shepherd through the discernment and call process for your next rector.
This week the Wardens and I will send out a letter to the entire parish community with more details, including the exact date of my last Sunday at Good Shepherd which I anticipate should be in May. I know that this announcement will leave many people with questions and sadness. I hope that by serving you through the Easter season we will have time to talk together, pray together, and celebrate our time together.
On behalf of Nicole, Liam, and Nicholas, I want to thank you for six amazing years. You have welcomed us into your church, your homes, and your hearts. Thank you so much for your trust in me, for your friendship, and for the honor and privilege of serving as your priest and rector. May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you.
In Christ and with greatest affection,
The Reverend Matthew Hoxsie Mead
Seventh Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd