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Mother Betsy Is Retiring

Posted on:
April 25, 2023

A Message from Mother Betsy

Dear Friends,

For 24 years, I’ve had the privilege and joy of serving as your priest and chaplain; I’ve never doubted the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the search committee that called me to Saint Mark’s. But I’ve now been ordained and working in parishes for 36 years, and the time has come for me to retire and begin a new season in my life. It’s been hard to come to this decision because I love you and I love what I do, yet I know that there are other adventures that await me and opportunities I’ll be able to explore in retirement: travel, time with my family, gardening, remodeling our kitchen, and finding different ways to live out my vocation as a priest. Tom plans to retire at the end of the year, and no doubt we’ll find plenty of surprises as we venture together into this part of our lives.

My last Sunday at Saint Mark’s will be June 25; we’ll have plenty of opportunities before then to say goodbye and to give thanks for the life we’ve shared together here. We’ll also have a big celebration on June 24 (at which I’m sure there will be lots of ice cream!); more details will follow about that.

Through the years, I’ve reminded you many, many times that it’s entirely possible to hold conflicting emotions at once. And so it is that I’m both nervous and excited, tearful and joyful. Underpinning all of that, however, is a deep and enduring gratitude for the gift that Saint Mark’s has been in my life and the life of my family, and for the love, patience, encouragement, compassion, and friendship that this community has shared with us for so many years. Those gifts, and that gratitude, will remain with me forever.




Dear Saint Mark’s,

There is no way to express all the gratitude I know we share for the gifts and grace of Betsy’s presence and ministry in the life of our community over the last 24 years. That doesn’t mean we won’t try. Please save the evening of Saturday, June 24th for a joyful (and tearful) party to honor and thank Betsy and her whole family for all they’ve meant to us. Stay tuned for details, but mark your calendars now. And plan to worship with Mother Betsy on her last Sunday with us, June 25th. She’ll preach at all 3 services that morning.

It is customary to collect a purse for those who have served in a leadership role on a church staff. We want to send Betsy into her next chapter with a generous financial gift reflecting our deep appreciation for her ministry. To keep the collection of these gifts a secret from Betsy, please contribute to her retirement gift by delivering or mailing your check to the office in an envelope addressed to The Rev. Carri Patterson Grindon, and marked confidential. Checks should be made out to Saint Mark’s Church, with Betsy’s retirement written in the memo. Gifts will be accepted through Sunday, June 18th.

Jenn Tolbert and I are beginning the search process for a new Associate Priest and Chaplain, with the hope of welcoming someone to join us in life and ministry by the new school year. We ask you to hold Betsy and her family in your prayers through this tender time of transition. Keep our Saint Mark’s Community in prayer as well, that the Holy Spirit will guide our search and prepare our hearts for the new life ahead.




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