Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Stuf in TEC: Texas

Nice story from Texas about a priest who is leaving his congregation after leading it through significant growth-

Come midday May 17, when the Reverend David Read utters the service’s last “Hallelujah!” and descends from the St. Helena’s Episcopal Church pulpit, the priest will leave a space vacant both literally and figuratively. He’s moving to a pastorate at St. Luke’s in central San Antonio.

Read has been rector at St. Helena’s for over a decade, and while cardboard boxes edge their way into his office, Read allows that it’s not exactly easy meeting the challenges that such a move brings.

“It’s overwhelming in the sense that it’s just a huge change, both here and for my family and for St. Luke’s where I’m going. We’ve been here a long time,” Read said.

As the past almost 11 years brought tremendous growth to Boerne, time has altered the face of St. Helena’s Episcopal Church as well.

“In 1998 St. Helena’s was a small congregation,” Read said. “There were 150 people on Sunday, most of them older and very faithful, very loving. We had less than five youth and very, very few children.” According to Read, youth activities involved “hit and miss” attention from church members, and Sunday School meant one combined class that pooled all the youngsters together.

The church campus consisted of the historic 1929 sanctuary and an educational building. “That was it,” Read said.

These days the congregation is represented by about 450 members who gather each Sunday. The church recently built a large multi-purpose building, and has over the years purchased and spread into adjacent houses that are used as office areas, youth space and meeting rooms.

The rest is here -

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