With Gratitude for Fr. Bill

I feel joy and sadness to share with you that Fr. Bill has been appointed priest-in-charge of St. Alban’s in Windsor, effective December 1. Founded over a century ago, St. Alban’s is one of Colorado’s historic churches in a town experiencing rapid growth in recent years as part of Denver’s greater metro. Their search for a prayerful pastor who can develop new programs to serve families and help the parish discern their outreach in the community is what drew them to Fr. Bill.

I’m thrilled for his leadership opportunity, and also grieve that it means saying good-bye to his ministry at Holy Comforter. Fr. Bill brings a genuine warmth into any room he walks into. His ease and heart for people makes his office a soft place to land for anyone needing a listening ear. His culinary skills have meant delectable home-baked goods vastly improving any church meeting, and his tap-dancing is one of the highlights of our Tour of Italy fundraiser. Those kinds of details never make it on a resume, but is icing on a (still warm plum) cake.

As Holy Comforter’s first full-time associate rector, Fr. Bill greatly expanded our capacity for ministry. We have a robust pre-K through high school curriculum taught by staff and volunteers called and equipped for student ministries. He’s taken risks to try new initiatives like dinner church, and consistently called us to walk the gospel talk, even getting me to my first march. You may not know that he assumed many of Deacon Linda’s responsibilities: his heart for the homeless means he’s the clergy rep for our Growing Home family shelter partnership, and he receives countless walk-ins each week who come to our church seeking assistance with utilities, rent, gas, car repairs and medical prescriptions. He even helps navigating complicated legal matters drawing on his previous profession.

As I reflect on his gifts, one story really stands out to me: about a month ago, we received an inquiry about hosting a funeral for a young father who died of colon cancer. Without a church home, and British roots, the family longed for an Anglican funeral. As I was away for a scheduled vacation week, I told Fr. Bill it was his call. He met with the family and a few days later, Holy Comforter hosted one of our largest funerals. Our altar guild and music ministries ensured the service was beautiful. Our hospitality team worked with caterers for the reception that followed on our east lawn so family and friends could linger and share stories. Jackson hosed off the porch and outdoor seating to provide a welcoming space. All of this love-in-action took place because Fr. Bill said “of course” to a funeral for a man he never met. This is one example of why he is such a good fit at Holy Comforter, because he has gently, caringly, insistently, helped us live into our name. Thank you, Fr. Bill. We are better for your ministry among us.

Fr. Bill’s last Sunday will be November 18.

Mother Kim