All Things Must Change – Announcing my Departure

We have just celebrated our fourteenth Easter Sunday at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake as priest and parish, as co-leaders in ministry.  Each celebration of the Resurrection here has been special for me and for Catherinanne. Liturgy, outreach, pastoral care, hospitality and your attention toward each other, are all lived well in this church. These gifts have served to remind me on a regular basis that the promise of resurrection and the promise of new life that we proclaim in this Easter Season, is not some far of dream. It is a reality that can be made new with change and with a church’s willingness to embrace change. New life and change is integral in a community of faith. That being said, we know that change is never easy. Significant change takes a lot of prayer, discernment and reflection.

Today I want to affirm the need for change and renewal at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake and the need for change and renewal in my ministry. To that end, after an extensive period of prayer and discernment, I am now announcing that have accepted a call to be rector of St. Aidan’s Church in London, effective July 2, 2012. My last Sunday at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake will be Canada Day, Sunday July 1.  I realize that many of you will be shocked by this news and saddened to see us move.  While I am excited for what the future holds for me, and for you as a parish, this was an incredibly difficult decision. My heart breaks for what Catherinanne and I are leaving behind. At various times over the past eight years of my incumbency here, I have said no to invitations to interview for other parishes. I said no to other opportunities because I felt that there was work that we could yet accomplish together.  I felt that I still had some of me to give to you and that you still had some of you to give to God in response to my leadership. Upon reflection, I now know that I have given all that I can to you, and you deserve a priest who will be able to bring you a fresh, energized approach to ministry – and you must trust that you will find that priest.

I want you to know how very much I love you all. I am very comfortable here and I have grown to love being part of the wider Windsor-Essex Community.  This is a tremendous community and has been home for us in every sense of the word. We are proud to be residents of Tecumseh and to have had these many years in Windsor-Essex. Unfortunately, discipleship is not about being comfortable and the time has come for you and for me to be stirred from a collective complacency.  

Janelle, Travis, and Kaitlin present me with a gift at my Induction over 13 years ago.

Nearly fourteen years ago I came here as a young priest who had a little more hair but had very little experience in ordained ministry – I had only one year in fact. At that time, St. Mark’s was hurting.  Having had a poor experience of ministry in my first year, I was hurting too. I remember being very worried that you needed something so much more than I could give and that I would let you down.  It never occurred to me how much I needed you. You have been fertile soil; in which has grown a community of faith. Catherinanne and I have been humbled to be a part of your great ministry.  And I have been privileged to work as priest in a garden of faith and hope that you have cultivated. You have grown a church in a time when churches are simply not growing. I realize that leadership is an important part of that growth and I am proud of the leadership I have offered here for over 13 years. But I did not lead alone. I was fortunate to work alongside such strong lay leadership and to be the beneficiary of strong mission minded parishioners.

Please know that there is more growth ahead for St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. I pray that when the pain of this news subsides, you will realize that this affords you a great opportunity to step forward on the next steps of your growth. This parish now needs a new leader, with new ideas, and a new vision for the next steps on that journey. A new rector will help you move your ministry to the next level and embrace the new challenges that you face. While I would love to believe that I can do anything, I know that I have my limitations and I am praying that God will raise up the right leader for your bright future. I am proud to say that the next priest in this church will inherit strong lay leaders, a first class facility, and a parish strategically situated to meet the challenges of being church in this new millennium. He or she will be the envy of many priests who would covet the storehouse of gifts and talents that reside at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake.

Allow me to address some of the speculation that I have heard of late:

Over a year ago Catherinanne was hired as Director of Campus Ministry at Brescia University at UWO in London. At that time she also assumed the role of Chaplain to HMCS Prevost in London and Central Regional Chaplain for the Royal Canadian Navy Reserves. Many began to speculate that I would leave. A year ago I was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Many of you speculated that I would leave. In March I finished my doctor of ministry program. Again there was speculation that I would leave. For many these dots will no doubt all add up to this announcement – the truth is that these are simply unconnected events in life that have been instructive to my faith journey. This move is not because of Catherinanne. I am glad that we will be under one roof soon, as we have not relished being apart. I am not moving because I am a Canon or because my schooling is complete. I am moving because I am a priest of the Church and I am being called to be present now to another corner of God’s Church. I have come to this decision now because it is time for you to have new leadership and it is time for me to accept a new challenge. It is time for us to practice what we preach about resurrection and new life and about change. It is time for us to be renewed.  

Catherinanne and I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for us in these past fourteen years. You have been family to us. We have watched your children grow, we have said goodbye to many friends and saints of the church, we have celebrated many weddings and we have baptized many babies. You were so wonderfully attentive and pastoral to us when we suffered great loss in our families and for that I will never be able to say thank you enough. Together, we have journeyed through pain and sorrow – through joy and jubilation. We have survived two building campaigns together. We have built a house where “Love can Dwell.”  I will be leaving this parish in July, but I will not be leaving you. I bring so much of you with me as I continue on my journey. I hope that you will bring some of me with you on your journey.

Today we heard that the disciples were locked into the room for fear in the wake of losing their leader. Thomas was not. His uncertainty was lived out openly as he forged ahead seeking Jesus. I realize that this news leaves many of you feeling uncertain in these moments. Let’s not be locked up in fear. We can strive ahead, even with feelings of uncertainty. As surely as Jesus penetrated the fear of the disciples and the uncertainly of Thomas, he will also penetrate your fear and uncertainty and be present to this community.

Catherinanne and I wish you every blessing as you begin a new phase on your journey.

 I close with these words of HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW:

 Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.

We love you all – it has been a great ride ….God Bless you all!

Ray Hinton and Revy Kevy at My Induction as Rector of St. Mark's by-the-Lake
48 days after becoming Rector of St. Mark's by-the-Lake

20 thoughts on “All Things Must Change – Announcing my Departure

Add yours

  1. Paula and I will miss you and Catherinanne so much. We wish you both all the best in London, Paula and Lorri

  2. Izzy & I have only good wishes and thoughts for you and Catherinanne as you look to what lays ahead for you both in London. That being said you will be truly missed at St Mark’s By The Lake and in our personal lives. As I said today, London isn’t so far to travel up the 401 for a Subday service from time to time. Thank you for your dedication and love to us in good and bad times.

  3. Wishing you every blessing Kevin as you continue your ministry as well as Catherinanne as she continues her ministry, I know St. Mark’s will miss you both dearly, but St. Aiden’s is a wonderful parish. I have a few friends that attend there, and when I move back to London (hopefully within this year) I know where I will be attending…wishing you both every blessing with your move and transition. As well praying for those at St. Mark’s as they search for another priest…he or she will have some large shoes to fill.

    1. We wish both you and Catherinanne a joyful and rewarding ministry at St. Aidan’s. Although you will be missed at St. Mark’s by the Lake, we are sure you will be a blessing to your new parish in London. May God guide you and give you wisdom and strength as you move on in your journey.

  4. Today has been a difficult day one filled with many tears and I’m sure many more to come. It started out with rain thunder and lighting.. odd for this time of the year I thought as I walked with Holly around the block in the pouring rain. That thunder seemed to grow louder in my ears as I heard these words you have posted being read at around 11:30am this morning. For a minute I thought this cannot possibly be, the shelfish part of me was hearing 14 years but my brain was saying …. I’ve only had just over 2 and a half! Thats how long I’ve been at the parish. Long enough to come to love the 2 of you for all you do.

    I have now had the day to process and reflect a little more, despite more tears!

    I am so happy for you that you have the opportunity to move to a new parish and that you and Cathrineanne will be under one roof again. I am so happy that the two of you will not need to be travelling that 401 on a regular basis anymore and for that too I am thankful. I know that I have grown in my journey of faith in the short time that I have been at St. Mark’s under your leadership. I know that when I hear you preach that your words touch me every week and that I truly see a man of God before me. I thank you for all you support in my personal journey, I will for ever be grateful.
    St. Mark’s is a great community who is supportive of each other and who will support each other as we grieve your loss.
    The good thing is that we do know where you will be and that we will be able to come and visit .
    I wish you all the very best, and much strength over the next number of weeks as you prepare to move and as you say your good byes and start to form new relationships. I will keep you in my prayers.
    With love

    1. Nelly,
      you kinds words have brought yet more tears.
      You are a gift to St. Mark’s and you will be a great help to the church in discerning who the new rector will be.
      Thank you for your understanding words and your care for us both.
      With love

  5. Thank God for the internet, for we shall c0ntinue to hear your words and have you in our lives! We wish you and Catherinanne all the best on your newest adventure. Thank you so much for what you have left behind.

  6. Dear Kevin and Catherineanne.
    Words cannot express our feelings right now. We are so very happy for you and Catherineanne.
    We are so grateful for what you have brought to St. Mark’s by the Lake in you 14 years. (I can’t believe that it has been 14 years already.) Your spiritual leadership and your talent as a leader of people has brought us far. We as a parish were so fortunate that you came to our our little church at a time when we really needed the talents that you possess. You brought us faith, growth, in more ways and than one, camaraderie and all sprinkled with your remarkable sense of humour. Thank you so much.
    We will miss you very, very much.
    We expect that we will see you back St. Mark’s By The Lake from time to time and you can expect to see us at St. Aiden’s in London from time to time
    We wish you every success and happiness in your future.
    We love you guys,
    John & Micki

    1. Thank you so much.
      We love you as well.
      I have been so fortunate to be a member of this church…
      and I had a GREAT Rector’s warden when I came here — remember him John — a recently retired Policeman they told me

  7. As one unknown author aptly says, “The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.”

    Speechless In Seattle

  8. Best of luck in your new post and home. … from a mad musician occasionally found on Iona (Scotland) and more regularly in Sheffield, England. There’s a welcome if you are passing through!

  9. Matt & I wish you cannot say how we feel right now sad yes but our prayers and good wishes for your new parish in london . You are leaving us richer for your leadership and love .We will miss you both but we travel to London to see friends every few weeks so will will come to worship with you . We wish you success and happiness for your future will miss you love you guys dear VICAR

  10. Kevin, It has taken me a few days to process the news that you and Catherinanne will be leaving for London too soon! I, too, have had a few bad experiences in my church life but you and my fellow parishioners at St. Marks By
    The Lake have restored my faith in community and I thank you from my heart, It goes without saying you will be so
    missed. You are truly a man of God and your kindness and support to me and my family in our time of loss five years
    ago will never be forgotten.
    Your leadership at St. Marks has been profound. Your teachings have made us so aware of the wider community and
    the needs that must be met. Thank you for your humour and genuine concern for all of us at St. Marks. I wish you
    God’s Blessings as you and Catherinanne prepare to ‘move on’ in your journeys. We are going to miss you but
    London isn’t too far away! Here come the tears again!! Love you both. Hettie

  11. Dear Kevin
    Its taken me a few days to absorb and think about the announcing of your intentions to leave our parish and start off anew in London. My first reaction like so many others I suspect, was one of selfishness, thinking only of what I was about to lose. My thoughts went back over the 13 wonderful years that I have had the privilege to spend with you. My mind traveled back in time to when we drove around on church errands, singing “Newfie songs and sharing a laugh. To breaking bread together at Fong’s Villa and
    partaking of an appropriate beverage, having lunch at Fred’s Burger Barn, and giving
    Fred a new hairdo- I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh so hard!! What treasured memories.
    Thank you, my friend.
    Wonderful thoughts of Christian, you , John, Andrea, Catherinanne, and myself performing with that famous
    group ‘AVIN A CUFFER’. I think of all the wonderful friends I’ve gained in this close knit parish family, all
    because of you. So I must put away selfish thoughts and embrace change as you have done and look forward to the future. In doing so I must thank you personally not only for the impressive changes you’ve
    engineered in this parish but the changes your ministry has made in me. You have renewed, strengthened,
    and restored my faith , bringing me closer to my God, something for which I will be forever grateful. I’m a
    much better person for knowing you.
    That being said, I want to wish you and Catherinanne all my love and all success in your new endeavor. I would also ask as a special favor. If you have any ‘pull’ in the Big Cathedral, and since we are giving up our best player, could you see that we get the 3 best draft picks??
    Love ya- Shalom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: