Dear People of Christ Church,
This week, I want to commend to you prayers for our bishop, Tom Shaw, who announced his retirement this week. I met Tom for the first time as a Micah Intern in 2000-since then he's married me and Noah, ordained us, baptized both our children, and installed me as rector here-he always jokes that we have to bury him, but hopefully that won't be for a long while. While in seminary, I remember writing long (somewhat tortured) letters home about how difficult I was finding the whole process. I wrote the letters because I was required to-but I often remember the response he gave me-he said, "it sounds to me like you're looking for the freedom of Jesus Christ."
It was good advice then, and now--I come back to it when things get scary. One of the things I said once to some colleagues about our capital campaign was that it felt like an invitation into that freedom. After all, if we can talk about something like money, maybe we can talk about anything. Just maybe. Again and again, on hard topics like Palestine, GLBT inclusion, and many other issues, Tom has had the courage of his convictions to talk about so much, and lead us forward. And, yes, as Byron Rushing pointed out in the Boston Globe article-a great fundraiser, too. I'll miss him. Rather than be long winded about it, I'll commend to you the letter he wrote to our diocese here and suggest you check out the Globe article as well.
We aren't on the schedule for a formal visitation from him in the next 15 months , so we'll have to come up with a really good party to get him to Waltham. On a practical level otherwise, the Standing Committee will be working with him in inviting nominations for a "co-adjutor" (the new bishop, who will work with Tom for a period before his retirement), who will be elected in April of 2014. Marathon of prayers for our diocese and all those who shepherd us through this process!