A Letter from our Senior Warden

April 9, 2021

Fellow Members of the Beloved Community of St. Luke’s,

My best guess would be that all of us have had a multitude of conflicting thoughts and emotions since hearing that our beloved Rector and his family will be leaving us all too soon. It is certainly true in my case. We need a chance to process, to think and in a very real sense to grieve, and I am experiencing all those same very confusing thoughts and feelings as well.
But in the midst of all of that, I know that we all wish Pierre-Henry, Sophie, Raphael, Pauline and Clement all the best as they head East to new opportunities, new responsibilities and new adventures. While I have no desire to rush anyone or anything along this road, I do want you to know that the elected and appointed leadership of St. Luke’s is preparing for what comes next and how we move forward to continue and expand God’s work that has taken place in this community for over 130 years through this congregation. I would like to just briefly outline for you what will be happening and I hope you can understand that at this moment there will not be a lot of details available, but please be assured that this work will move forward as it must.
Don McKellar and I had a meeting on Wednesday with the Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Arizona. Canon Anita was most helpful, reassuring and encouraging. She is responsible for these transitional situations throughout the Diocese and is committed to helping St. Luke’s through this period and all of the processes that entails. There are steps and protocols to be followed and we will do so. The first step, of course, is to pause to celebrate the wonderful work and time we have had with the Buissons being here in Prescott with us. More will come on that later. There will also be opportunities for everyone who wishes to do so to have input in creating an updated vision for St. Luke’s and what we will be looking for in new leadership as the congregation goes through a discernment process not unlike what Fr. Pierre-Henry has just finished. Eventually this will lead to the creation of a search committee and the careful work of finding a new Rector for St. Luke’s.
I have been through this process as a part of the lay leadership in the past in two different ELCA congregations. It is hard to envision now, I know, but this can be a wonderful time of growth and development for us as a people of God. I have seen wonderful new lay leadership emerge in these times, new opportunities for ministry and new and different ways for us to be the people of God in this time and place. We are fortunate to have an abundance of retired and active clergy who are willing to continue to serve among us and an awesome staff to continue to be our partners in ministry. Thanks be to God.
Please be in prayer for our congregation family, for the Buissons in their transition, for the leadership of St. Luke’s and for all who will serve us in this interim period. Without your support we cannot do this successfully; with your love, support and prayers, we cannot fail.
Under the Mercy,
George Chesney
Sr. Warden