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A Special Message from Father Manny

My Dearly Beloved:

Greetings! It has been my greatest pleasure to serve as your pastor and friend. This September will mark my seventh year as the Rector of this beautiful and thriving parish. I give thanks to God for the opportunity to serve you. Not a single day goes by without a thought about you and the beautiful place where we all call our spiritual home and the best way in which to serve.

It is no secret that to serve effectively, we need time to take time off from our busy schedules. God instituted the Sabbath for a reason. And in the gospels, Jesus often took time away from his friends and all the people, just so he may rest awhile. It is in that spirit that I am taking time off to recharge, if you will. 

I have, since last year, engaged the Vestry and leadership of the parish on the idea of taking a sabbatical - a break that will allow me the opportunity to travel, rest, read, pray, and write. I may also do some studying, but nothing strenuous.

My traveling plans are to spend time in Europe, visiting some of the exciting places that hold religious significance. I also plan to spend time in my native Ghana and travel to some of the wonderful places that I have not as yet been able to visit.

This sabbatical will be for three months. However, I plan to divide my time into two parts because I cannot be gone for that single stretch of time. The first part will be a two-month break which will span the months of July and August. The second will be about a one-month period beginning in mid-November until sometime in early to mid-December.

Deacon Denise has graciously agreed to serve as the pastoral leader of Christ Church during this sabbatical. I will continue to work with her and the staff to ensure that every part of our common life runs seamlessly. The Wardens - Jan DeBoisssiere and Isaac Olajide - are the leaders of this parish, and they will work together with Deacon Denise to serve all of you. 

There are a few transition notes that I need to bring to your attention. Over the past several years, we have had the blessing of the ministry of Deacon Denise. She has dutifully and faithfully served Christ Church very well, and I cannot thank her enough for her dedication and commitment to Christ Church. I will miss her.

Deacon Denise arrived amid the COVID era, but that didn’t impede her desire to graciously serve members of this congregation. Her passion and enthusiasm led to the establishment of a Refugee Ministry.

Deacon Denise has been re-assigned to St. Peter’s in Ellicott City. She will begin her ministry at St. Peter’s in mid-September, so Denise’s last Sunday with us will be on September 8, 2024. On that Sunday, we will celebrate her and honor her time with us.

We will also bid farewell to Michael Looney. Mike has been with us for about two years and has helped enrich our ministries, especially by leading the Center for Spiritual Nourishment and Theology on Tap. Mike will still be involved here at Christ Church and help with the Center for Spiritual Nourishment and Theology on Tap, but he won't be here as regularly as we have all been accustomed to.

I am very saddened by these transitions, especially at this time. But I also recognize that they offer us the opportunity to engage ourselves and to find creative and positive ways to nurture our spiritual lives and deepen our involvement in our common life.

Many are the clergy who have retired or resigned from the ministry as a result of burnout or the impact of the pandemic on them. I have been running full steam since September 2017, and it is time for this needed break. I hope to return to Christ Church more refreshed, centered, renewed, focused, and ready to faithfully serve you as I have been doing these past several years.

I am very grateful to each of you for the daily opportunity you offer me to lead this amazing parish.




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