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Today was our Priests last day as rector. Originally they had an interim priest scheduled until the search committeo could vote on who our new Priest will be, but something happened and we no longer have that, so we are having to use "supply priests" meaning we won't have a steady priest for who knows how long.
I feel lost. He's been the Priest for 32 years, DH's priest for 24 years, my priest for 6 years. We love him, and his fun and caring attitude. He's the one who always says not to take noisy kids out for they are praising God. He's the one who came to CHOC at 2 AM when we first found out Joey had a tumor. He has prayed with us many times, and sat with us and cried with us through so much. He baptised all of us, married me and DH, presided FIL's funeral. he came to my grandmas bedside before she died when her pastor would not come. And now not only is he no longer our priest, but according to the "laws" of our church, he cannot even attend church with us anymore, he must find a new church home.
Who are we going to call if we need someone to pray for Joey!? We won't even have a regular priest! Who will make all the little holidays as special for the kids, and for us. He always wore some funny hat the sunday before/of a holiday. For Easter it was bunny ears, 4th of July it was firework hats. During closing precessional, the kids would run out of the pews to walk with him. Today he completed the processional with a hat on that said Happy Retirement and had balloons on it.
David cried. he loves Fr M greatly and trusts him completely. When he was little he used to think Fr M was God, because he spoke and everyone listened. And Fr M would tell him "David, I'm not God, but God is in me just as He's in you." and would go on to tell him about a story from the Bible about sharing the Good News.
Melanie cried too. She cried when she saw him do the retirement ceremony, where he returned the keys, his vestments, the Churches prayer book and Bible, communion cup and bread, and everything else.
I think we all cried.
So I feel lost. I know it was his time to retire. I know we have to let him go and wait for our new Priest to be selected. We've known this was coming for many months. But now that it has happened, it seems too much, in the midst of everything.
I know how you feel. When my pastor retired it was alomost like experiencing a death in the family. Is there some reason why you cannot keep up contact with him personally as an elder or mentor for your family?