Farewell Letter from Pierre-Henry

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I’m writing to you on this bright Friday morning, May 7th, this is my last day at the office. This week I spent some time sorting out what was in my office and my bookshelves. This office is now ready for its next occupant. Maybe for the first time since the church moved to 2000 Shepherds Lane, the desks, drawers, and bookshelves are empty. Only a computer is standing on a desk. This is so strange to write to you from this empty space. For almost seven years this place was my office. Really, it was mine. The place where I could pray work, think, receive people, have meetings, somehow my personal safe haven. This emptiness is a tangible sign that I’m now ready for the next step of my priesthood journey by following the Lord’s call to serve Him at Emmanuel, VA. 

It seems that I don’t have the words to express my emotions today. These years serving the Lord and serving St Luke’s have been amazing. True it was also challenging at times, but this is life is not it? All in all, despite the unavoidable bumps in the road and conflicts, it was such a good experience to be your rector. I think the best way to describe my feelings at this moment is thankfulness.

I’m thankful for the Lord who called me to send my application to be your rector. I’m thankful that I was elected your rector. I’m thankful for what I have seen happening at St Luke’s and the presence of the Spirit in the midst of us. I’m thankful for each and every one of you, you have been a blessing to me and my family. I’m thankful for all who shared their time, talents, and treasure with St Luke’s. I’m thankful for all who were part of my staff during this time. I’m thankful for those who served in leadership positions. I’m thankful for the way you accepted me and my family, and the way we tried our best to love each other despite our differences. I’m thankful that St Luke’s is always trying to reach out, love, and serve those in need around us and in the world. I’m thankful for the quality of our worship where I felt so many times the presence of the Lord among us. So thank you all!

In sharp contrast with this quiet last week at the office, last weekend was so wonderful! Thank you all who came to one of my last services as your rector. It was so good to see so many of you! Each service was great. At 10:00 am it was so good to see the church packed for the first time since March 2020! It was so good and uplifting to hear so many voices during the prayers, and of course, It was so good to have the choir back after all this time without congregational singing. Once again the choir was awesome.

Thank you for the many cards we received at all the services, and for the gifts offered to us in your name. Sophie and I are very touched by these testimonies of love. I can assure you that I will bring all of you in my heart to Virginia and I will keep you in my prayer.

These almost 7 years have been a blessing and the best thing that could have happened to me and my family. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! May the Lord bless and keep you always!

Let my last words be this prayer of thanksgiving from our BCP: 

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments that satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he conquered death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make Him known; and through Him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things.  Amen (BCP, pg. 681)

In His Love,

Pierre-Henry