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A FAREWELL NOTE FROM KIRSTEN EVENDEN

It is with a heavy and yet expectant heart I write to you today. After nearly ten years of journeying together, my time has come to leave St. Philp and begin the next chapter of my story. I have been richly blessed in countless ways by each of you and will carry with me the love, support, encouragement, trust, and respect that I have been shown in this place as I have grown into my call through the various opportunities I have had to serve God, and you, God’s people. You have given me a place to grow and to learn, you have been safe ground for me to try new ideas in ministry. You trusted me to serve as your warden and allowed me to represent your voice at Synods. We’ve celebrated the 125th Anniversary of this parish with the Primate; enjoyed countless dinners, meetings, fundraisers and events. We have shared tears, joys, sorrow and laughter…  there are so many stories to take with me. They say a photo is worth a thousand words – I have thousands of photos taken from the many beautiful, wonderful, Sprit filled events I have been blessed by in this church over the years – but I have no words to convey just how deeply I feel about this departure, from the acquaintances who became friends, and the friends who became family. You have walked closely with me these last few years as I have discerned my call to ordination and began my journey through seminary. The time has now come for me to move onto the next chapter of my story – trusting the great Author of life knowing always it His Holy Wisdom who holds the pen. And as my time here ends, I am to start as a placement student at St. Peter’s Quamichan on June 1st. I am sad to be leaving, but very excited to see how these pages of my story will unfold under the wing of Rev. MJ Leewis-Kirk. We are not sure yet what ministries I will be undertaking there, but I know she has plans to help me grow in my call to parish ministry and will be a wonderful mentor while I continue my studies. All that said, it feels strange leaving during the time of COVID, when we won’t be able to worship together in our church one last time. I don’t know when we will be able to gather again in worship, but I trust that we will meet again and will continue to hold you all in my prayers as I hope you will hold me as I continue to see how this story unfolds. So, until we meet again – this is my prayer for all of us. When we sing on our lips the songs rising in our hearts, Let that it be counted as praise. When we read the news and our hearts tighten in our chests, may it be counted as a Kyrie.  And when our eyes brighten in a smile behind a mask in thanks or greeting those we meet, May it be counted as passing the peace. When we water our gardens and wash our dishes or take a shower, May it be counted as a remembering of our baptism. And when the tears come and with shaking shoulders our breath falters,  May that too be counted as prayer. When we stumble upon a quote, a phrase, words of comfort, May we hear Your unending grace and love in an unending homily. And as we sit at the table in our homes, and eat one more homemade meal, May we eat it slowly, joyfully, with nothing else demanding our time or attention, And Until we meet again at the Table of God, may that be counted as communion. Amen. May you be richly blessed as you have been a blessing. With a heart filled with gratitude, Kirsten