The Rev. Stephen Kinney to Retire November 1
The All Saints’ Episcopal Church community has been very special to me ever since 1978--the year I was trying to give up some of my vices at the Ash Wednesday service at All Saints’, yet ended by giving up my whole life to God in a life-changing way that led me to Seminary of the Southwest in the early 80’s. After stints in Houston, NYC, and Fredericksburg, I returned to Austin in 1998 to start work on a PhD in Educational Psychology at UT. I was drawn back into the All Saints’ orbit during this time when Jimmy Bartz, Miles Brandon, and John Newton served successively as chaplains at the Episcopal Students’ Center.
My friendship with Mike Adams led to Bishop Andy Doyle’s confirmation of The Front Porch as a nonprofit missional community of All Saints’ in 2012. I’ve been here ever since, assisting in one way or another as needed. It’s been a joy all along the way: I discovered, over and over again, that the Risen Christ is alive and well in our community.
You should know that “retirement” has been winking at me for the past several months, and I’ve finally decided to go for it on November 1st--after some 37 years of service in the Episcopal Church. While this may come as a surprise to some of you, you should also know that I’m very excited by this opportunity to pursue some important projects that I have kept on the back burner, like finally finishing a book that my mentor and I have been working on since 1985. I will continue working at Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) as their director of development, and I will continue serving as an advisor for the Fiji fraternity.
Between now and November 1st, I’d love to meet and visit with as many of you as possible, and I hope you’ll email or call me if you can meet or talk, or we can connect after one of the upcoming Sunday services. I’m told there will be a send-off on November 7th when Bishop Ryan will be here for Confirmation, and it’d be great to see you there.
After November 1st, according to the official policies of the Diocese of Texas, we’ll be unable to connect until at least one year after the new rector arrives. I trust the wisdom of this policy, as it ensures proper closure and transition. Here is the language around that policy:
The Bishop expects that once a clergyperson leaves a congregation, he or she will bring closure to pastoral relationships with members of that congregation. The health of the congregation is dependent upon how well the transition is managed. Former parishioners should understand from the clergy in a positive and affirming way that it is not appropriate to continue a pastoral relationship.
The Bishop expects that the clergyperson will accept no further requests from members and former members of the congregation to provide pastoral services at weddings, funerals, baptisms, or any other occasion of public worship until at least one year after the new rector arrives. After one year, clergy may accept invitations from the interim rector or rector, but may not solicit such invitations.
I know this transition will bring both grief and joy to me, as it’s been one of the great pleasures of my life to have had the privilege of serving our Lord with you and celebrating our life together.I have some consolation that, knowing how fast time flies, one year will be a blink of the eye. I’m very grateful for Merrill’s pastoral care for me in this time, and I can’t wait to learn of the arrival of the new rector--I believe that All Saints’ best days are ahead!
May God bless you and our dear All Saints’ parish!
P.S., Due to a vacation in Colorado, I’ll miss the next two Sundays.
Tags: Saints Alive