Newsletter, Issue #20

St. John's Episcopal Church Newsletter

Issue: #20 - October 2014

Retirement Party for Margie

We had an excellent sendoff party for Margie. The Walkers generously had it at their house and the location and the weather were perfect. Glenn Sayward provided the excellent food. Beautiful tributes were provided from Patty Paine and Jeff Moredock and we gave Margie the "purse" that the congregation and friends had so generously contributed. Margie was thrilled and overwhelmed. Below are Patty's and Jeff's tribute, as well as Margie's thank you and a brief update on the search process.

Patty Paine's Tribute

Just as Mary Poppins arrived to take charge of the Banks household in London, in a rather unorthodox way- blown in by the East Wind, holding her famous umbrella, so Margie arrived here at St. John's, to take charge of all of us, in what seems an equally miraculous fashion.

During the last search, after notifying the diocese that none of the candidates they had presented us with seemed like a good fit for our congregation, a stroke of luck or perhaps, in this instance, we should call it divine intervention occurred.

It just so happened, that at that very time, Margie's bishop in Indiana called our bishop in Albany to say he had a priest who wanted to move to our area and was there any parish available for her?

Margie's arrival at our church was just as extraordinary, in my mind, as that of Mary Poppins at the doorstep of the Banks' residence. However the wind that blew her here must have been the Holy Spirit.

We've never called Margie "Mother Margie," but nonetheless she has acted like a mother to us. Like a good mother she has set strong examples for us that emanate from her Christian faith- showing a loving concern for others, both within and outside our congregation, and trusting in the provision of the Holy Spirit to help bring new hopes and endeavors to reality.

As Margie recognized our talents, like any good leader, she encouraged us to use them. In other words she helped us to be our better selves.

Since her arrival, Monday evening book group, Tuesday morning Bible Study, Choir have become fixed parts of our communal life, as had Genesis before her arrival. She has encouraged those working for ReNew and the Food shelf to continue these important ministries on behalf of our neighbors.

It wasn't long after Margie's arrival that people in the community took note of the vitality of St. John's under her leadership, and the congregation began to grow. Margie was quick to incorporate the talent that newcomers to the community brought with them.

When the Bedoukians arrived with the Mission of Los Libros already established, she saw that it became part of St. John's outreach efforts.

When she met Andrew Sheranian, who came to play an organ concert at the Community church, she sensed that a mission possibility existed with the Ashmont Choir Boys. Her enthusiasm spread to the whole congregation and having the boys visit us in the summer became a reality and is now a tradition.

In saying goodbye to Margie, one of the best gifts we can give her is to make sure that her legacy endures- that we continue the camaraderie of the Holy Spirit she has fostered amongst us, and that we make sure that the activities and programs which blossomed during her time with us remain strong.

Thank you, so much, Margie for being the pastor who everyone would like to have at their church, for leaving St. John's in such excellent shape, but above all for the warmth of friendship and care which you have given each one of us.

We will miss you more than we can adequately express, but we are thrilled that you are only a ferry trip away and that we will be continuing our friendship on a new foundation.

This present comes from all of us.

Jeff Moredock's Tribute

The Archbishop of Essex
A Woman For All Seasons

St. John's By the Lake was in need of a priest.
So it cast its net widely, north, west, south, and east.

But what they hauled in wasn't so hot,
A mixed catch at best, the whole vestry thought.

Some were too young, some were too old,
Some wanted city, most couldn't stand cold.

But then when the search looked like it would fail
A grace filled folder arrived in the mail.

A curriculum vitae proclaiming good news.
At last St. John's might have someone to choose!

The Vestry cried out, "She could be our new rector
Let's invite her to Essex so we can inspect her!"

Her initial impression lifted St John's depression
"A match made in heaven," was the all round expression.

Her first name was Margaret, her last name was Shaw,
Her theology simple, based on love and not law.

Her pastoral style was never a role.
She was always herself, an authentic soul.

SNAFUS were handled so well at the altar
That even God's judgment never could fault her.

So five years flew by and St. John's grew stronger,
As the line for communion got longer and longer.

But all good things finally come to a close
And the good Rev. Margie said, "I need some repose."

St. John's shed a tear, there was not a dry eye
But then in one voice the members did cry,

We'll miss you Margie for hundreds of reasons.
The best rector we've had for all of our seasons.

Thank you, thank you, thank you indeed,
For loving us all,
Bon voyage, safe travels,
...and of course, God speed

From All the St. John's Sinners and Winners

Margie's Thank You

My dear dear friends,

My send off was incredibly wonderful. I want to thank you all so very much. The evening could not have been more perfect. The tributes by Patty and Jeff were so well crafted, I could hardly believe I was the subject.

The purse was exceedingly generous. I was blown away. It is safely tucked away in the bank, but eventually it will go towards a new car.

And last, but hardly least, I want to thank the Walkers for graciously providing the stunning location.

With ever so much love and every blessing,

Search Update

The Search Committee and the Vestry held a joint retreat in late September, along with the Director of Transition Ministry of the Diocese of Albany. The first building blocks of a comprehensive search strategy have been put in place. Bill Finucane and Jon McBride, our search team leaders, will give you a more complete update in next month's newsletter. They will update us on the schedule for the search, which will likely take until next Spring. In the meantime, we are so delighted to have Father Rick Dennis and his wife Connie with us most Sundays until we find a new rector.

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