Last Sunday, more than 200 of us gathered to honor, celebrate with, and bid farewell to our rector, Nancy Lee Jose. We were welcomed by Nancy Lee’s young nephews who served as ushers, along with glorious music from a brass quintet, a beautiful baritone and a string bass solo, an abundance of incense, proud yellow sunflowers at the altar, and beloved faces from present and past.
Nancy Lee spoke to the urgency of our mission and stated:
It has been my deepest honor, privilege, challenge and inspiration to serve these past 12 years as the rector of a parish that has chosen to allow the future to have as large a claim on us as the past, a congregation that is confident that at the end of the road lies the freedom for each of us to fully become the creatures who God so joyfully made us to be.
I leave secure that the journey we set out on together will lead where God needs and wants you to be for the next generation and beyond. I am confident that St. Thomas’ parish is based on a love so broad and so deep and so high that male and female, Greek and Jew, straight and gay, brown and white and black and poor and rich, and even Democrat and Republican will one day fade away as we become one and all neighbors in the kingdom of God.
The sacredness of such a way of loving is that it draws us into the mystery of an even deeper love than we have imagined possible. I know because I have been drawn into that mystery with you. The good news of the Gospel is that you have known enough of Christ’s love that you are able to love and to be love for the next person and the next person needing a gospel love like that.
My own prayer for you is that no matter the cost, you will continue to strive to be love for one another, for God’s creation and for God, each and every Sunday that we gather here and love at St. Thomas’, each time we gather as love and to celebrate the love given to us in the Eucharist, we leave here able to go forward to be that Eucharist for the world.
A recording of Nancy Lee’s sermon is here: