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Welcoming our Interim Rector, Father Patrick Raymond

“ … we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face.”

- 1 Thessalonians 2:17

Dear people of Emmanuel,

The line above, from a letter of St. Paul, is not exactly a top ten Bible verse. But it came to mind as I sat down to write this letter, and it speaks to me about you.

I am eager to see you face to face.

You may be less eager, at least for the moment. If so, I sympathize. You’re just meeting me now, and from a distance. You care about your faith and your parish. You must have many questions.

Some of your questions may be answered by the one-page version of the résumé, (that your vestry members have already seen) or by reading the Questions and Answers About Interim Ministry and the Interim Rector I have prepared.

Before going there, however, please stay with me here… Consider with me the context of the verse that came to my mind and heart in conjunction with this greeting. 1st Thessalonians brims with affection and encouragement AND it does not shy away from challenges of life together in the Church. I am already praying that our season together at Emmanuel will be marked by these same qualities.

Also, both 1st and 2nd Thessalonians are commonly attributed to St. Paul but in fact have three authors: Paul, Sylvanus and Timothy… This leads me to wonder: Who will author the next chapter at Emmanuel? I certainly can’t and don’t want to write it, at least not alone. Please imagine being among the authors. Imagine a chapter marked by affection, encouragement and faithful questioning.

I am eager to see you face to face. Until I am able to do so, please know of my hope and prayers.

The Rev. Patrick Raymond

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