New Call for Father Robÿn Announced
During today’s services, Father Robÿn announced to the congregation that he’s accepted a new call to serve as rector of St. Mary’s in Tuxedo Park, New York. The audio of his sermon and announcement are attached.
During a special meeting of the Vestry on Wednesday, June 21, Father Robÿn tendered his resignation and it was reluctantly accepted. Letters from Father Robÿn and Lorie Henry, Rector’s Warden, are being mailed to all parishioners:
Father Robÿn’s letter
Lorie Henry’s letter
His last Sunday will be on July 16 and the diocese is already working on identifying an interim pastor; until then, Father Graff has graciously agreed to take most of the services.
From Father Robÿn: “It’s been my joy and privilege to serve as 31st rector of Trinity Church Oxford for the last eight years. This church will always have a special place in my heart. Pete and I wish you abundant blessings in the future and ask for your prayers as we start a new chapter of our lives at St. Mary’s.”
Holy Week and Easter, 2017
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
For the last five weeks, we have been walking in the way of the cross with our Lord. Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the blind beggar, Mary and Martha: all followers of Jesus who for us have been guideposts and examples of discipleship throughout the season of Lent. Our Lord used each of these diverse people in order to reveal God’s glory to us all. In them we see the human struggle for understanding, and yearning for a deepening of faith and unity with God.
Through those stories of Lenten discipleship we are led, once again to Calvary, that wretched yet blessed place where through Jesus Christ, true discipleship and unity with God became a reality of all.
I hope that you will be able to join with your parish family for as much of the Holy Week experience as possible. Each liturgy tells its own story--from the shouts of Hosanna! On Palm Sunday, to the tenderness of the first Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, to the shouts of “Crucify him!” on Good Friday--we walk with Jesus and those who loved him to the agony of the cross and finally, to the glory of the empty tomb.
It is my prayer that you will be greatly blessed this Holy Week. I hope that you will encounter Jesus along the way, and that the joy of Easter morning and the resurrection of our Lord will be carried forth in your hearts both now and throughout the year.
Yours in the Crucified and Risen Christ,
The Rev’d Richard J. Robÿn
At first glance, the beginning of this year has been one of false-starts. Just look at our weather in the northeast--bounding from balmy to blizzard, neither people nor plants can tell which end is up. Perhaps you have had the challenge of seemingly false-starts in your personal or professional life, as well. We all have hopes and dreams for our lives. I know that I have heard myself saying, “If only I can get to ____, everything will be great!” “If only” sometimes comes to pass, sometimes it doesn’t. When it does, we often realize that it wasn’t the panacea we had hoped for. When it doesn’t, the disappointment and haunting “what if’s” can be a real drain on the soul. When this happens, it is a sign that we are living too much unto our own wills, and not discerning that of God. Certainly, free will and the creative drive in all of us are gifts from God, but like all his other gifts, it is in returning them to Him that we find our true joy.
“God has a plan for you.” Truer and more frustrating words have rarely been spoken. We all want the best for the world, our church, our families, and ourselves. And though we have agency, or the ability to act and effect change, action without God’s direction is like a ship without a pilot.
Lent is the time of year when we pay special attention to our mortality, sinfulness, and need for God’s grace in our lives. Consider Jesus in the garden: “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Even our Lord struggled with accepting God’s will and plan for him, but because he did, we not only have Lent, but also Easter. Let us use the remaining weeks of Lent and Holy Week to pray in the garden of Gethsemane that is in each of our hearts. Look back at the year that has passed and find those places where God’s will was done in your life. Look ahead as well and have faith. Engage with God through prayer, reading of holy scripture, and the partaking of the sacraments of His Church. Ask and work for the wisdom and grace to open your heart and mind to His will. And finally, remember the words of St. Paul, “Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20)