This month is a season to celebrate the ministry of our Rector, Rev. John Mitchell, after twenty-five years of faithful service to the people of Zion and St. John’s and our greater community.
Through God’s grace, Father John has been a faithful steward of the spiritual and financial life of our Parish. The American writer and theologian, Rev. Fred Beuchner, had this to say about John’s gifts after coming through the doors of Zion many years ago:
I would do anything to find a church where I felt nourished, had some sense of the presence of God, some feeling of true worship. Well…I found it. For me, everything worked – the music, the prayers, the eucharist, the exchange of peace…and your sermon. It’s not just that it was articulate, compelling, witty, genuinely felt, but an authentic human utterance, not just something you would put together for the edification of the faithful. And how you do it without a note and with an air of such perfect ease, I don’t know and don’t want to know. So, I am thankful for more than I have words to say, and among other things, for finding a new friend. - Rev. Fred Beuchner
We will never fully appreciate the unique burdens placed on a pastor. From the mundane but necessary administrative and financial challenges of running a Church; to the sacred duty of being called to minister to the sick, the dying, and bereaved; of providing Christ’s mercy to those in prisons; and promise to those who need to know that they are worthy of God’s love. John has exhibited grace amongst unspeakable tragedy with the loss of his beloved son, Wesley. He has had the sacramental honor to preside over hundreds of baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals.
John’s message, since the beginning of his ministry, has always been simple: “Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so.” We love you, too, John, and thank you, for encouraging us to love God and one another with open and forgiving hearts: to know Christ’s love, and share it.
May God’s peace remain with you always,
Jamie Hastings, Senior Warden
on behalf of Zion/St. John’s