Special Announcement From HIEC
- Sep 01, 2016
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Dear People of The Holy Innocents:
With the deepest of mixed emotions and feelings, I announce that I have accepted the call to be the next President of Kanuga, a national Episcopal camp and conference center, in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
As I write these words, I am taken back to our first Sunday together just over seven years ago. I preached about outstretched hands, sharing in our new calling. Who could have imagined all that you would do, all that Jesus would call you toward in this time together!
We built a new facility, renovated our nave, and launched into a new era of ministry. Stewardship for capital and annual program grew, membership increased, and our programming took us in new and dynamic directions. A feeling of can-do-ness began to pervade our shared life together. We reached horizons few of us could have imagined.
I am proudest of how our name became our beacon and guidepost. Reaching out in new and inspiring ways, we saw children at risk from the King Herods of today and began to boldly go forth to carry the mission of Jesus to those the world often forgets. There is far, far more work to dare in this mission, but I know you will boldly accept God’s call to it.
Ties between HIES and HIEC grew closer, and our School entered a new era of outstanding leadership as the largest K-12 Episcopal school in the United States. Vestry and School Board began to strategize about our future together, seeing our oneness as a challenging yet precious gift.
We baptized children, watched them grow, shared joy at weddings, and tears at funerals. We walked into hard days when life made little sense and we danced in laughter when life was joyous.
In other words, in getting to know one another, in seeing each other’s outstretched hands at the altar week after week, we glimpsed heaven and worked toward the kingdom.
I am sad to leave, and yet, I feel that I have fulfilled my call. God desires new leadership in your next rector, that woman or man God already knows who will help you envision even bolder horizons of the Gospel for this amazing Place for Faith. Bishop Wright and his team will work with your vestry to provide a seamless transition, and because of our good clergy and staff, along with all of you, things will continue to go beautifully and joyously. This is one of The Episcopal Church’s great parishes and your reputation is national in scope. God has even brighter things planned for this amazing place! I know it!
Page and I, along with Mattie and Jack, thank you for loving us. We have loved you and will continue to do so. We covet your prayers; we need them. My last Sunday will be October 23, although I will be in the office through the end of that month.
Keep being you. You are an incredible and blessed people. I have been deeply, deeply honored to serve as your rector. I love you very much.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. Michael R. Sullivan