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Welcome letter from Andy Dunks


April 20, 2012

Greetings to our new church family!

Julie and I feel very blessed to be joining in the life and ministry of St. Bartholomew’s.  During the interview process, we found your search committee and vestry to be warm, down-to-earth folks with whom we felt a real sense of chemistry.  Very seldom in my life have I found job interviews to be fun, but this one was!  It felt like a gathering of friends, comfortable enough to joke around and at the same time talk seriously about the mission of the church and the challenges we all face as we try to serve Christ in community.  

For both of us, “Church” has always meant “family”.  We both came from secular families and were only baptized in our twenties.  The church was the extended family where we found wholesome friendships, mentoring in the faith, and support in times of trial.  My sense of calling to the priesthood to a large extent stemmed from a wish to share the love we had found from fellow Christians with others who had been lost and lonely like us, and to draw them into the fellowship of the Body. 

When we visited “in disguise” last Sunday, we found the same warm welcome being extended to us that we had received so many years ago.  We felt completely at home.  We were also touched by the sincerity of your praying, the wonderful diversity in your congregation, and the special affection you seem to have for each other.  St Bart’s feels like family, and that’s the sort of church we were hoping and praying to find. 

Equally impressive, St. Bart’s struck us as a family that looks outward as well as inward.  I was impressed by the wide variety of outreach programs engaged in for a church of its size, and the strong desire to learn new ways to bring a new generation to Christ.

We look forward to getting to know you, to serving you, and to growing with you.  Life is going to be a blur for the next month or so: in addition to all the end-of-school duties in my current job as chaplain and teacher, my daughter will also be graduating from college and getting married.  And then we get to go house-hunting!

Please keep us in your prayers as we face these big events. 

I would also be honored to pray for you and to begin to get to know you.  I can be reached by email at [email protected], my cell phone is 434-221-8496, and I, after resisting for years will shortly take the plunge into the world of Facebook, either on my own page (which I’ve never used) or through a St. Bart’s page.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, shower you with the light of his presence, and give you his Peace!

In Christ,

Andy +

The Rev. Andrew A. Dunks Called as Rector of St. Bartholomew's
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