It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I must announce that the Vestry has accepted my request to set in motion a timeline for my retirement as your Rector this summer. The Bishop will receive formal notice from the Wardens and the Church Pension Fund will get to work on setting up my transition. They require that notice be given three months in advance for benefits to begin.
I will be actively engaged in the ministry of the parish until the end of June and then I will go on vacation and sabbatical until the three months is completed on August 15.
One great factor in this decision is my health. I am a diabetic and at great risk for the COVID-19 virus. I am unwilling to put my health and the health of my family at risk of this disease. I need to give greater attention to my health in general and to my diet, medication, and exercise to delay the progress of my illness.
May 25th will be the 27th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in Christ’s One, Holy and Apostolic Church. My work has been very fulfilling and life giving. The work is also very demanding. I cannot help but be touched by your lives. I feel your sorrows and your joys. We have worked together to shine Christ’s light in the world. I will continue to serve Christ and this parish with all my heart until the last day of my active duty. I will hold you in my love for the rest of my life.
I am also ready to spend more time in rest and renewal. How and when I will be able to be in the physical presence of my mother and the rest of my family, especially my grandchildren, Penny, Randy, and William, is uncertain. You can be certain that I long for that day. It feels strange to spend so much time with our dearest ones virtually. I am praying for hugs.
I would be remiss if I failed to appreciate and honor my longsuffering wife and partner Cindy. She will be relieved of the invisible and challenging burden of being a Rector’s wife. She has borne with me when my attention was on my work, when I was absent from family gatherings and holidays, and when I was in the way of the full expression of her passion for justice. She is my love and my strongest ally. I want to be free to renew and deepen our love.
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is the bearer of a rich tradition. You have loved one another long and well. You are a blessing to this community. You have strong leaders in the Vestry and Wardens. You have faithful and skilled staff leaders. You have a vibrant ministries. And you have Jesus our Lord.
Be faithful. Keep loving and learning. Look to God. Do not be afraid.
In Christ Jesus,
The Reverend Marvin Lee Foltz