To our dear CCFC Family,
This curacy has been for me one of abundant blessings and tremendous growth, and for our family, Christ Church Fox Chapel has been a beautiful home for us in this season of life. You have shared with us in so many special moments, from my ordination to the birth of our newest son. And now I need to share with you another special moment that has come for our family, and one that you have played a direct role in: I have been offered the position of Rector at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Versailles, KY, and I have accepted.
I share this with you with mixed emotions. We are obviously very excited and confident in this path forward, but it also means leaving this place that we have come to love so much. Our time here has been brief, and also deeply interrupted by the pandemic—I do regret that our ability to build deep relationships with you all was a bit stifled by these circumstances. But Stephanie, our boys, and I have absolutely treasured our time here, and we will miss you deeply.
It is helpful for me to remind myself, and hopefully it is for you, that this is what this curacy is all about: training up a freshly-graduated priest to serve as an excellent long-term rector in another place. And I am so grateful that you as a congregation have committed to this as one of the crucial missions of the church. This ministry truly is, I hope, one of multiplication: where perhaps hundreds or even thousands of other people will be blessed and brought to know Jesus and his eternal life, because of your influence, support, and prayers. As you bring on different curates over the years, I hope that you will continue to feel a deep sense of purpose and joy in that. And the fact that I have landed an excellent job is a resounding endorsement of the success and fruit of this ministry!
I have learned so much from all of you, and I am so grateful for how so many of you have let me into your lives and homes, have listen and engaged with my sermons, let me preside at Holy Communion, allowed me the privilege of conducting your weddings and funerals and baptisms, and so on. These exercises of my ministry have been a joy to me, and I have learned so much through them. So from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you, and to honor you as a wonderfully generous and kind congregation that has helped to train me up in order that I might be a capable rector for St. Andrew’s. I am also deeply grateful for how well you all have welcomed my family and treated them as one of your own. It has meant the world to us to be in a community that was so clearly a spiritual home for us and loved us so well.
The staff team here at CCFC is truly top-tier, and I am so grateful for the immense skill and passion of Bridget, Ben, Niki, Robert, Tami, Josh, Kirsten, Jess, Brian, Kat, and many others who I’ve had the privilege of working alongside. I’ve learned so much from these folks, and have deeply enjoyed them, especially as we all worked to adjust nearly weekly during the pandemic. Having a strong and capable staff team has been a lifeline in a season of crisis and upheaval, especially when we can have fun together.
I want to give special thanks and honor to Alex Shuttleworth, who has given me an incredible amount of time, energy, and resources over the past two years. He has been an excellent mentor and teacher, provided consistent valuable feedback, and challenged and encouraged me to grow my skills as a pastor. All of this he has done with great gentleness, care, and humor, encompassed by a deep passion for the Gospel and love for the Lord. I have learned so much from him, and I would not be where I am today without his training and support. I hope that you all at CCFC know and appreciate the truly excellent man and pastor who serves as your rector, and I would encourage you to continue to honor him and pray for him as he serves you (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
In closing, I’d like to bless you and pray over you the words of Paul in Philippians 1:3-11—
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
I’m so grateful for you, as brothers and sisters and as partners in the Gospel, and I will always hold you in my heart. I pray you continue to seek Jesus and to grow in Him who is our only hope of righteousness and eternal life.
Our last Sunday here will be September 19th, and I believe there will be some opportunity to gather and say goodbye. I greatly look forward to seeing you all.
In the love and affection of Jesus Christ,
Rev. Ben Wulpi