Dear Christ Church members and friends,
I have had the joy and privilege of serving as Rector of Christ Church for more than nine years. During that time I have grown to know and love you, and to appreciate the presence of God made visible in you. Christ Church is a special place in which the Holy Spirit lives and moves, and through whose people the world is made a better place.
I write to share with you the news that I have been called to serve as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Rhode Island. To translate into everyday terms, I will be Bishop Knisely’s Chief of Staff and will assist him with the management, oversight and operations of the diocese, and in the support of clergy and congregations. It is an honor to be called as Canon to the Ordinary, and it will challenge me to use the skills and experience I have developed while working with you, serving in the Diocese of Central New York, and completing the Doctor of Ministry. Doubtless there will be many learning curves as well, so I ask your prayers for the days ahead.
My last day with you will be Sunday, July 21, and the Vestry will have a farewell brunch following the 9:00 a.m. worship service. I hope that you will be able to join us that day.
The Vestry and staff have accepted this news with grace and have begun planning the next steps. Wardens Dwayne Wisbey and Catherine Montes and Vestry members will be meeting with The Rev. Canon Carrie Schofield-Broadbent, Canon for Transition, to discuss the process for calling an interim and eventually a new rector.
Christ Church is filled with loving, faithful people who do their best to support and encourage one another in following Jesus. You have a beautiful building that is very well maintained, a solid financial foundation, generous stewardship, a responsive outreach ministry, a vibrant music ministry, and a dedicated worship team. Best of all, you shine with the love of God. You have a bright future ahead and I will continue to pray for you as you grow into it.
With love and gratitude,
Pastor Richard K. Klafehn was ordained in the Lutheran Church in 1983 and has served in rural, suburban, and large and small city congregations in Illinois and New York State, settled and transitional positions, Lutheran and one Episcopal.
A native of rural Upstate New York west of Rochester, he studied at Valparaiso University, Yale Divinity School, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He received intentional interim ministry training through the Interim Ministry Network.
He has been active in various social service ministries and local ecumenical organizations, including faith-based community organizing. He is a member of Bread for the World.
He is married to Dianne and between them they have 3 sons, 1 daughter, 2 grandsons, and 2 granddaughters. He enjoys baseball, reading – most recently classic fictional novels, biographies, and history, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, crosswords, Ken-Ken, and travel.
Pastor Rick is very happy to be with us during this time of transition.
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