Beloved people of Emmanuel –
As many of you know, in addition to serving as the part-time Associate Rector at Emmanuel, I have an additional job providing family support and coordination for organ donation with LifeCenter Northwest, the organ donation organization for this region of the county. When I stepped into that work nearly two and a half years ago, I did so anticipating it would be a relatively short-term position to allow my family and I to get back on our feet in the midst of Covid before I came back full-time to parish ministry. It turns out that position has been an incredible fit for me and is work to which I continue to feel called.
One of the perks of my work at LifeCenter is the schedule – working on-call a week at a time with a week off in between. You may have noticed the rhythm of that schedule as I have been at Emmanuel every other week during my off-call weeks. While my schedule remains the same, over the last six months, the demands of my work at LifeCenter have increased – both in terms of time and my emotional resources. I have been becoming increasingly tired and no longer feel I have room to give what you deserve from my time and energy.
Elizabeth and I have been in conversation about this over the past several months and are in agreement it is best for my family, for me, and for Emmanuel that I step out my role as Associate Rector. But that doesn’t mean my family or I are leaving Emmanuel.
Beginning in July, I will be at Emmanuel as a non-stipendiary (i.e., unpaid) Assisting Priest. The exact details this new arrangement are still being worked out, but it will still allow me to be with and serve you all through presiding and preaching, just with greater flexibility and without feeling you are not getting from me what you deserve from an Associate Rector. What Elizabeth and I have discussed is cutting my Sunday morning presiding and/or preaching role to roughly once per month. I will also continue to be available for other services and pastoral care as I’m able as my time and energy allow.
This has not been an easy decision as I have come to love Emmanuel and you all. My family does as well. On some of the weeks when I don’t have any responsibilities, you will very likely see me in the congregation without a collar. I am delighted there is a way for us to continue worshipping with and serving you all in a more sustainable way.
With much love and appreciation,
The Rev. Brian Gregory