As is the case in any family, in the life of the parish there are moments of great joy, and moments of sadness and loss. Last Sunday at both the 8am and 10am masses, we publicly bid farewell to our Theologian-In-Residence, Joseph Wolyniak. This occasion was a moment both of great joy that was, of course, marked by some real sadness and loss. The joy: Joseph has been called to serve as the Episcopal Chaplain to Princeton University. The sadness and loss of course is saying goodbye to him and his family. At both masses, Joseph preached a profoundly moving sermon which you can read by clicking here. Moreover, Joseph offers some words of farewell below. Feel free to contact Joseph at email@example.com. Hand written cards may be sent to the parish office at 600 Gilpin St., Denver, CO, 80218, and they will be forwarded to him when we know his new address in Princeton. All will agree that Joseph's time with us at Ascension was a blessing and a gift, and we are a richer parish for it. And we honor him and his family with our congratulations and prayers as we send them forth to continue in the ministry of the Gospel, even as they carry Ascension with them to a new place.
Faithfully in Christ,
Fr. Lucas Grubbs+
Liz, Evelyn, and I cannot thank you enough for all of the love and support you have shown us over the years. You have embraced us and made us feel every bit a part of your family as lifelong members, showing us an uncommon kindness from the day I first showed up at the altar to the day Evelyn arrived in our lives to our recent bittersweet farewell. We will not soon forget the meals you cooked, the conversations you invited us into, and the prayers you faithfully offered on our behalf. Whatever blessing we may have been to the parish, you have generously returned to us threefold.
For me, Ascension has been both a spiritual home and a training ground for ministry. At the invitation of Fr Lucas and with your support, I found a place where I could continue testing and undertaking an unfolding sense of vocation to sacred orders. I found a community where I could discern in prayer and practice, letting the rhythms of the Daily Office and Sunday Mass constitute a context for hearing the still, small voice. I found a congregation where I could preach, teach, and help administer pastorally and sacramentally that same grace I've so lavishly received in Christ. Among you, I found my calling.
While it is hard to believe that our time in Denver has come to a close, the three momentous years we have spent here will indelibly bind us to this place and parish. It is not mere cliché, then, to say this is not goodbye but farewell. We will be back, at least to visit, and we will see you again.
Thanks for the gift you have been to me, to us. Thanks to Fr Lucas, in whom we've found one of life's greatest treasures: a trusted and dear friend. And thanks be to God, for the immeasurable grace bestowed on us when and where we'd least expect it. Keep being that place and people God uses to surprise us with joy unbounded.
With sincerest appreciation and wishes of 'peace and all good things',