My favorite poem associated with seasons in life is “Time” by Henry Van Dyke. “Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Indeed, because together, we love Jesus, time is eternity.
Forever, I shall give thanks for our common participation in God’s ministry, made possible through life at St. Peter’s. It has been a humbling privilege and unspeakable joy to serve as the thirty-third Rector of this awesome place since September 1, 2012. Our parish community has engaged God and one another, grown spiritually and in people, and deepened in faith through intentional worship, formation, in-reach, outreach, justice-seeking initiatives, and fellowship. Together, we have offered the collective stewardship of time, talents, and treasure for the good of God’s Church and all who might benefit from its mission for this community and beyond.
We have prayed unceasingly and shared innumerable holy moments: joys and sorrows, tears and laughter, hopes and dreams, work, play, music making and offerings, baptisms, marriages, burials, and the Holy Eucharist. We have celebrated accomplishments, apologized for wrongs, learned from mistakes, and engaged new ways forward, in the name of our love for Jesus. Now, as I prepare for new ministry with Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee, I am able to leave in peace and gratitude – for our time.
St. Peter’s is healthy, flourishing, and its next season is in the exceptional care of the Vestry, our Bishop Diocesan, the Right Reverend Samuel Sewall Rodman, III, and each parishioner who is committed to leaning in and sustaining the vibrancy of the parish. Our Clergy-Staff Team is the “finest of fine” and continually seeks ways to improve its support of all parishioners, the Vestry, and everything offered by ways of worship, programs, and events.
Life at St. Peter’s is a reminder that God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good. Our common ministry has been to the glory of God and in keeping with our Parish Vision to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. Thanks for the opportunity to share in this stretch of time on our earthly journey with Christ.
God’s blessings and peace as we live and walk in love,
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector