Dear ECOT family,
When the Lukanich family arrived in the Eagle Valley in December of 2016, you greeted us with love and welcome. We walked into an almost empty townhouse, except for Christmas decorations and food to welcome us home. This valley has become our home in the last few years. We have come to think of Vail as our community. Together, we have celebrated weddings, baptisms, and good snow. We have mourned together, and we have debated many things. You have taught me to ski and fly fish. Together we have rejoiced in God’s creation and done ministry in a new and different way. The core of everything we have done has been our love for one another and our love for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This love for sharing the Gospel leads me to my announcement. I accepted a call as the next Rector at Christ Church, Riverdale, the Bronx. My last Sunday at ECOT will be September 12th, and I will begin my ministry in New York in early October. I am excited about this new calling, but I continue to be grateful for the many ways you have each blessed my ministry here.
My dear ECOT family, I cannot thank you enough for all you have taught me about being the body of Christ.
I acknowledge Mother Emily’s exciting new call to serve as the Rector of Christ Church Riverdale in the Bronx, New York, with appreciation and deep gratitude mixed with the sadness that always accompanies the departure of a dear friend, colleague and partner in ministry. Mother Emily has been all of those to me, a wise counselor and passionate advocate for all of us as we experienced the inevitable joys and challenges of our own lives. I thank her for her durability, personal grit, profound patience with me, wry sense of humor and most of all for her sensitive, reliable leadership these past years. I know you’ll join me in wishing she, Chris, Ian and Christian every blessing of safe travel and smooth transition, new friends and new schools, as well as a supportive congregation wise enough to see Emily’s outstanding charisms so ready to be a Rector in our church. Christ Church is one fortunate parish!!
Of course I will be meeting with our Senior Warden Jayme Rinn and wonderful Vestry to discern a clear path forward for ECOT given Mother Emily’s imminent departure. As I’ve been telling you recently, this fall and winter will be a season of change for Transfiguration. We’ve been there before, and will be there again. I will communicate our plans to move forward faithfully as soon as they become clear to us. For the moment, I can be crystal clear that I, Deacon Mike, and the rest of our talented team stand ready to serve you here and in place. Let’s also be clear that sending the Lukanich family off with our love is important for them and for us! Would you please make every effort to join me on Sunday, September 12th at both Sunday worship services for “Celebrate Mother Emily Day!” And of course, let’s keep the Lukanichs in our prayers for God’s highest and best purpose for each of them as they launch into this exciting new life chapter!
Warmly in the Lord,