On Sunday, September 24, 2017, we will be celebrating St. Brendan’s 30th birthday! Birthdays and anniversaries are always a good time to look back on our histories—to celebrate who we are and how we got here. St. Brendan’s was founded in 1987 by a small but determined group with no church building and few resources—but a name inspired by St. Brendan’s (the saint) own journey to new lands and a vision of what St. Brendan’s (the church) might become. As Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20, NRSV).
In the past 30 years that small gathering of pilgrims has grown into a vibrant parish. I myself have only been a member of St. Brendan’s for a few years (and I wasn’t even born yet when St. Brendan’s was founded). Fortunately, St. Brendan’s still has many long-time members who have supported our parish throughout these 30 years who can remind us of that initial dream that grew into St. Brendan’s. Below are links to a three-part history written (which are really worth a read) for St. Brendan’s 25th anniversary, by Tom Waseleski, who joined St. Brendan's three years after it was founded and is our current junior warden (though he was senior warden in 2012 when he wrote these articles):
St. Brendan's Memories: The First Twenty-Five Years: 1987 - 2012
Part One: http://www.stbrendans.org/25th-anniversary
Part Two: http://www.stbrendans.org/st-brendans-history-part-2
Part Three: http://www.stbrendans.org/st-brendans-history-part-3
In the past five years, St. Brendan’s has continued to change and to face its challenges head-on, with hope and vision. In the fall of 2013, Fr. Bill Pugliese celebrated his last service as interim rector and St. Brendan’s was joined by Fr. Scott Russell who led St. Brendan’s until March of 2016 when he was called to return to his life as a campus chaplain. Fr. Ted Babcock, canon to the ordinary (aka the bishop’s executive officer), served as St. Brendan’s interim priest until June of 2017, and currently Fr. Regis Smolko, who interned with St. Brendan’s under Fr. Ted, is serving as our priest-in-charge as we undergo a search process for a more permanent priest. Our journey has not always been a smooth one, but St. Brendan’s continues to face the uncertainty of the future with faith and determination, as our namesake did so long ago.
Priests and members may leave and ministries may fade away, but new priests come and new members bring new life to the parish and start new ministries. And, through it all, our spirit remains the same. A birthday is a time we celebrate how far we have come, but we also look forward to the future—to the next 3, 30, and, who knows, maybe even 300 years!
Grace and peace,
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A member of St. Brendan's since 2014, I enjoy being a part of this welcoming and giving community of faith. However, I am not a theologian, biblical scholar, or official spokesperson for The Episcopal Church. If you read anything on this blog that is inaccurate or contrary to the teachings of The Episcopal Church, please let me know! If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.