November 1, 2016
This note is my last word as Dean of Mercer, as I go to accept the call to serve as Rector of Saint Anselm in Shoreham. I desire the last word to be one of thanks and of hope. I want it also to be a word that affirms that in the end there is no word that matters but the Word. The only word that is of consequence in the end is the Word that became flesh in Jesus in the Incarnation. If we deeply hear that Word, we have heard all we need, and the very hearing will make us eternally new.
Ministering with good people here, including of course Diane Muscarella, Charles Egleston, Myra Garnes, Patrick Kangrga, Matt Tees, and of late Aissa Hillenbrand, along with the entire staff of the diocese here at Garden City, I have had the privilege and the honor and the joy of serving as just one in the ongoing line of Deans of the George Mercer Jr. Memorial School of Theology. This has been possible at all because of the trust placed in me for this task by Bishop Lawrence Provenzano. I am, and I will remain, profoundly grateful.
I have tried to work hard and well here since 2012. More than a few good ideas have been shared with me or occurred to me. I have worked to put them in the service of the sixty-year old mission of Mercer School and the ongoing mission of the Diocese of Long Island. Primary areas of effort have been the School for Ministry preparing women and men for ordained service, and the task of spreading our resources more widely, particularly by the wise use of ever-new technologies.
As I go, I am acutely aware in myself of the things that I have not been able to achieve, the hopes that I have not seen carried to fulfillment. It is good to be reminded of our human limits. Many times the work here has reminded me of mine! But turning around, I am even more aware of the unexpected ways in which God has been constantly at work, bringing grace to bear and blessings to light. There have been, as there are always are, daily miracles.
I carry wonderful memories on with me to the east. I am happy to be remaining in the Diocese and intend to make a continuing contribution to our common life in Christ. I pray for the continued strength and growth of Mercer School and all whom it serves.
And I always will.