Good Shepherd Rector Accepts Call in Boston

January 7, 2019

Dear Parish family and friends,

When I accepted the call to Good Shepherd in 2009, I covenanted to model a healthy leadership transition – that, one day, our season together would complete while ministry is vibrant and with the parish in better condition than when I arrived. With intentions to keep that promise, I write to share that last Thursday I accepted the call to serve as rector of Trinity Church in Boston. As bittersweet as all of us Allens find the prospect of leaving you, we also believe that God has never called us to what is comfortable, safe, or easy, and we believe God now calls us into the blessings and challenges of this new opportunity. We sense in Trinity the same spark that drew us to Austin, and we look forward to sharing with them all that we have learned from you.

Our time at Good Shepherd at once seems to have started only the day-before-yesterday, and, yet, teems with enough love and ministry to fill more than one lifetime. Believe it or not, we have been here almost 10 years! When Missy and I need perspective on the length of our tenure, we remember that we arrived with a toddler daughter and a son readying for Kindergarten. In the years since, you raised our children with us, loving them into the remarkable young adults they have become, and, with at least equal grace, you raised me.

I committed to Good Shepherd when I was 33. The Search Committee and Vestry took a leap of faith with me that was not without risk. Learning from you every step of the way, you grew me into a leader, and, together, we grew this Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd – Good Shepherd-Windsor and The Hill, Good Shepherd Episcopal School and Hillside Early Childhood Center – into as vital, faithful, and generous a community as there is in The Episcopal Church. Thank you, thank you for your wisdom, patience, and grace. I am so grateful for the privilege of having shared this abundant time with you.

Though the buildings and the second campus will remain visible symbols of our time together, they will not be what I remember first. I will first remember you: your commitment, your faith, and – above all – your love. During our season, we have baptized more than 550, married 135, and buried almost 250, and – Lord, have mercy – I have loved loving you in every single one. Indeed, coming to know you and your stories, and sharing with you in the joyful labor of “being Church,” has been one of the great honors of my life and will always be. I give thanks to God for the outstanding parishioners, Vestry, Wardens, and staff with whom I have served.

My last Sunday at Good Shepherd will be February 10, and, as I ready for the next month, I take heart in that most familiar poetry of the apostle Paul:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or

arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable

or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the

truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,

endures all things. Love never ends.

With all our hearts,

Morgan, Missy, Michael, and Ginna Allen

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