Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am back!
I am so excited to have completed my sabbatical season and returned to Good Shepherd. I look forward to celebrating together the good works that God has been doing in our midst. I hope to see many of you at Mark Prince Memorial BBQ on Saturday and at worship on Sunday.
The final days of sabbatical were some of the richest. After the flooding of early October, the rain stopped in time for Ann Claire’s 18th birthday on the 7th. What an important milestone in her life and the life of our family. We were able to mark that time with worship, prayer, and blessing with spiritual mentors and friends. I also had the chance to see Ann Claire sail in a regatta south of Savannah, see Mary Foster finish her JV Volleyball season in fine form, and surprise Cate and Eliza with a pizza delivery at their school for lunch. Because of the flooding, my fishing and shrimping goals were postponed, but I was able to kill my first deer of the season just before sabbatical ended. It was a huge joy to celebrate my first buck ever!
As I reflect upon my time away, I am overwhelmed with God’s grace and the tangible ways I experienced it recently. I feel compelled to say thank you to Good Shepherd again. You have deeply blessed me and my family. In the midst of thanksgiving, it is odd to remember that my sabbatical began with the Emmanuel 9 and ended with the 1,000 year floods in South Carolina – two defining tragedies for our area. I am not discouraged by this fact. The reality of our broken world and the desperate need for hope and new life in Jesus Christ compel me as I return to ministry.
Re-entry into the life of the parish will take some time. I look forward to talking to you about your past three months as we lean into the glorious future that God has for us. In the next months, I hope to share with you some of the dreams and visions God has put on my heart for Good Shepherd. I encourage you to continue in your journey of faith by daily prayer and bible reading, participating in the life of the community, and worshiping together on Sundays.
The best is yet to come,
Fr. Shay +