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:: Monday, June 09, 2003 ::

It's so hard to leave sometimes...

Sunday was my last day at St. B's. I made the decision long ago to leave and to move on to the chaplaincy I am now in and to work alongside students in a campus ministry setting.

But it's still hard to leave.

I don't know what I'll miss the most. Perhaps it will be the high-church liturgy with all its accoutrements: colors, vestments, incense, the Sign of the Cross (especially at the Trinitarian Benediction - "And now may the blessing of God Almighty the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always. Amen"), excellence in music, or the beautiful words of the Eucharistic Prayer. There is something incredible about "Joining our voices with angels and archangels who forever sing this hymn to proclaim the glory of your name: Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty..." And calling down the Holy Spirit never ceases to give me the chills. ("Lord, we pray that in your goodness and mercy your Holy Spirit may descend upon us, and upon these gifts, sanctifying them and showing them to be holy gifts for your holy people, the bread of life and the cup of salvation, the Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ.")

Perhaps it will be the good-natured discussions held over points of theology. I will miss the shocked looks on people's faces when I step aside from the lectern and preach with a raised voice. Evidently, "I preach like a Baptist." I suppose I will miss the constant, mutual culture shock.

But I know what will be the most difficult: leaving the people. I will miss working with Fr. M---. It was good to be pushed to reflect on my theology in a host of ways. I will miss the choir; I will miss the people who sat near me during the Rite II service in the pew every week. I will miss the people whom I joined in working with the middle schoolers. I will miss the "Prayer Behind the Altar" crew.

I will definitely miss the youth: High School group, you blew me away. If it wasn't your ability to reference the Donatist Controversy in Bible study and apply it directly to the issue at hand, it certainly was your excitement at discovering what it means to live life "in God" and your intense joy in besting one another at "Pit" and "Chronology."

For a great 20 + months, thank you. For teaching me to worship anew, thank you. Thank you, God, for this great place and great opportunity.

And now, may the blessing of God Almighty the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you and remain with you always. Amen.

:: Matt 6/09/2003 11:23:00 PM :: permalink :: ::
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