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Beloved Parish Family,

As I announced at the Liturgy today, I will be retiring as the rector of St. Paul Church effective August 30, 2019. His Grace, Bishop Paul, will soon publicize there is a pastoral vacancy in our parish; he will begin the search for a new rector for the parish, which is his responsibility as our bishop. He will be working with the Parish Council to accomplish this. When Bishop Paul is here in Dayton, August 9-11, he will speak with you about this transition.  In that visit, as you know, he also will be ordaining David Abshear to the diaconate.

Foremost on my heart is to thank all of you for your generous love and support through the 33 years I served here at St Paul’s. You have been the greatest blessing in my life as a priest. Indeed, I feel I am the most blessed priest in the world because of you.

I find myself needing to retire for my own health. The parish is young, active, vibrant (not to mention restless!) and I don’t have the energy to do all that the parish needs. We formed a mission not to keep it the way it originally was, but so that it could change and grow as the Lord willed. God has blessed this change giving growth to our parish; thanks be to God! Change is nothing new for our parish community but really has been a way of life for us. May we continue to strive for this growth and look forward to the opportunities which change brings to our parish family.

I grew up at St. John the Baptist Church in Warren, Ohio. St. John said of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Those words have been part of my spiritual life for all my years as a priest. It is time for me to decrease so the Lord can continue to increase His presence in our parish. As St. Paul said in the Epistle lesson for today: “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”  

I look forward to the next few months in which we will have opportunity to discuss where we go from here. I do not have my retirement planned out, so I too am moving into some uncharted waters and have to wait to see where the Lord will lead. "I believe that we shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!" (Psalm 27:13-14)

I remain,

Faithfully Yours in Christ,

Fr Ted
Copyright © 2019 St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church, All rights reserved.

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