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Aug Epistle: A note from Fr. Alan to St. Paul's on his retirement

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul's,

St. Paul’s garden with Sarah Cowan 2011

When I arrived here in 2008 there was no clear picture of how long I would be amongst you.

Now over a decade later, I'm approaching a new chapter in my life. The Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, July 22, will mark 30 years since I was ordained to the priesthood at St. Andrew's Church, Newcastle, Maine. After this length of service, the time has come for my retirement.

It has been my privilege to serve in three different dioceses and I'm most pleased Vermont has been one of them. From St. Paul's Church I've received many blessings and hope I've been of some help to you in your journey.

The Book of Common Prayer describes the church as a "wonderful and sacred mystery." It is. So let's celebrate that fact by attending to the health of this congregation. All the while as we maintain our Christian practice, divine nurture is being provided.

Celebration of Alan’s ministry with us (with Bishop Thomas Ely and Carol Knauss) 2009

I want to thank you for the picnic on June 23. It was a pleasant surprise to receive so many greetings and thoughtful gifts.

The framed print of St. Paul's Church will always remind me of the good years I spent with you here. And I will proudly fly the Vermont flag from my Ozark mountainside! I'm particularly touched by the bronze plaque that is to be hung.

By now you know my affection for the part of the Baptismal Covenant that enjoins us to "continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers." Keep at it! Continuing interest in the liturgy, as a seminary classmate once wrote, "grows out of an awareness that the vision and power for the extension of God's kingdom comes through the corporate prayer of the people of God.

Sunday School, Children's Service 2010

[Our] commitment to social justice is [our] commitment to authentic prayer." Ongoing, faithful participation in the worship life of the parish is a powerful witness to the wider community and leads us to seek a better life for all people.

Yours in Christ, Alan +

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