Sunday, August 30, 2009

A fond farewell to Vicar emerita the Rev. Sandra S. Bess

Today the Episcopal Mission of San Gabriel Árcangel in Corrales, New Mexico, celebrated the ministry of Mother Sandra, our founding vicar. We were joined by many members of St Michael and All Angels, Albuquerque, our mother parish, and friends from the Cathedral Church of St John, St Chad's, and St Thomas of Canterbury. It was a day of laughter and tears.

We send her forth with gratitude, hope, and deep affection. She signs her e-mails "Vaya con Dios" and we say the same to her as she moves into well-earned retirement. Blessings on her writing, her travels, and the as-yet-undiscovered ways in which she will continue to minister to others.

These photos are in reverse chronological order; I am too tired tonight to sort it all out.

Deacon Karly with a sunshine yellow balloon, the last photo I shot but nice symbol of the day's joy.

The new aumbry crafted by Bud Light and installed in time for this special day.

This is the congregation just after the dismissal. You can see that the place was packed.

Mother Rhonda McIntyre (our new vicar), Father Bryan Taylor (our rector), Deacon Karly Shepherd, with Cheri Winter, Steve Hayden, and Tad Pound assisting.

Fr Brian presenting a resolution from the Rector and Vestry of St Michael's.

Mother Rhonda presenting the awesome portrait of Mother Sandra that will hang in our fellowship area.

Mother Sandra with the certificate from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of the Rio Grande.

Diane Butler presenting the certificate (shown above) on behalf of the Standing Committee.

I would dearly love to know each word or event that provoked all these reactions. I was just snapping away.

Fr Brian, Mthr Sandra, Vicar's Warden Tad Pound. We are a church where laughter abounds.

Yes, I was there too. Shown here with Stephanie Padilla, one of the founding members.

Go in peace! Go in love! Go in joy! Go with God!

--the BB


Jane R said...

What a beautiful smile Mother Sandra has! And you can tell she is a woman of great energy. Blessings on her new adventures, whatever they may be, and blessings on St. Michael and All Angels and San Gabriel Árcangel. (I love the space of that little mission, by the way. Hope to visit some day.)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Good to see you all so happy! And on what could have been only a sad day ;=) All blessings!

Paul said...

It is a true storefront church in a building that also houses a quilt and yarn shop and Curves.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Mother Sandra is a lovely woman, indeed. What a joyful celebration of her ministry! I know she will be missed, but I'm sure sh will continue to do God's work.

Paul, you are so tall. I forget how tall you actually are.

Lovely pictures. You're putting your new camera to good use.

Blessings upon Mother Rhonda.