My Last E-pistle Cover Letter

Ben in Suit

A Final Reflection From Dean Shambaugh,

Since we started using Constant Contact, I have written more than 1000 E-pistle cover letters. When people were isolated during the beginning of Covid, we were sending out three E-pistles a week, which meant a huge number of letters from me! Far from being a burden, this was a joy. Letters have been a special opportunity to share thoughts, or a teaching, or information that helps me connect with you and hopefully helps you connect with one another, with St. Luke’s and with God. I usually know exactly what to say…. that is, until today.
With the exception of a couple of notes along the way, this — #1286 — is my last e-pistle to you. What to say, after 18 years of a journey together? My heart is overflowing with many emotions. Excitement about new opportunities mixes with grief and sadness about leaving. Every place I pass and every face I see is filled with the mystic chords of memory, of times of joy, sorrow, and celebration, of the divine presence and of the deep human realities of life that we have shared. Most of all, I am filled with feelings of love.
What I really want to say is thank you. Thank you for opening your hearts, your homes, and your lives to me. Thank you for being willing to go on a great journey of faith together, being willing to experiment and explore new traditions while grounding ourselves in old ones, for being willing to discover what it means to be both a cathedral and a church, and for trying to walk the walk as well as talk the talk of Jesus. Thank you for welcoming me and my family, for making us both part of the St. Luke’s family and your own. Serving as Dean has been one of the greatest joys and privileges of my life. I thank God and I thank you. I will miss you. I look forward to seeing you this coming Sunday and at the celebration on February 4.

With love and gratitude,
Ben
As of May 1, my address will be 22 James Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937
My cell remains the same 207 400-7516
You can reach me at shambaugh04103@gmail.com.

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