First and foremost, I must say a deep and heartfelt thank you to you, both for your recent kindness and consideration, as well as for more than twenty-six years of being a faithful, vibrant, welcoming and caring community. Thank you, especially for last weekend’s response at all the masses as part of my “farewell and video salute” including a special thanks to my sister Mary whom you received so well.
Since this may well be my final bulletin letter, let me take a few moments to state once again what I consider are the essentials of parish life which you have all lived up to so well.
The first essential of parish life has got to be community. We are called to be gathered in the name of Jesus, not as a prayer group of hermits no matter how pious or holy, but rather as a community that reaches out and connects with one another. Thank you so much for recognizing this in your daily lives and building Christ the King as a welcoming community, something which I could never do by myself, but only because of you and by your support.
Secondly, as an essential of parish life, I need to name the Eucharist. Now for those of us who are not Greek speaking, it is important to know that Eucharist stands for and translates to “thanks” or “thanksgiving”. In other words, our worship is always to be, first and foremost, a thank you celebration and you have made it that again and again.
The third and final essential of parish life that I need to name can be called mission or outreach or social justice or as our parish mission statement reiterates simply “to make a difference”. According to many scholars, the most common phrase in the entire Gospel is always “go”; not to remain enclosed or simply within, even as a very pious prayer group. You have truly been a community that “hears the Gospel and makes a difference”. Thank you so much for that and for finding ways to be community, Eucharist and mission.
Beginning Monday of this week (September 15th) Fr. Paulson arrives as your new and full-time pastor. My personal view is that you are truly and greatly blessed. I’m sure he is a pastor who will both listen and lead our community in ways that are welcoming, thanksgiving and truly making a difference in our world.
May God bless and keep you all, as I do in my heart.
Brian T. Joyce
1022 Holly Street
Alameda, CA 94502
Email: brian (at) ctkph.org