It is with a heavy heart that I am writing to inform you that on October 16, I will be leaving my role as Minister of Mid and Later Life at AHCC to return to the work of college chaplaincy.
The pandemic has been traumatic for everyone, and one population that has been severely and uniquely affected is young adults, among whom feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide are rampant. With my experience in college chaplaincy, I feel called to return to the university setting to strive to be a life-giving resource to young adults during this critical and unique moment in history.
This was an extremely difficult decision to make. I genuinely love Erica and Jordan, who have become like sisters to me. I deeply admire their senses of humor, their creativity, their passion, their unflagging hope for this church, their unconditional love, their indomitable faith, and their commitment to justice. Jack and Susan, also, have become like family to me. They are incredibly talented and imaginative musicians and worship leaders, and planning and leading worship with all of them has been a joyful endeavor that has enriched my faith.
While I will profoundly miss being a part of this incredible clergy team and member of this committed group of professional staff, I will also dearly miss being your pastor. Your kindness, enthusiasm, affirmation, and generosity are unmatched. Your passion for God and for this incredible church, your talented and visionary lay leadership, and your generosity of spirit have inspired me and give me great hope for the future of the Church Universal and this amazing faith community, in particular.
I wholeheartedly believe in the expert leadership of this church community and what AHCC is doing to help make love and justice real and tangible in our community and world. My life has been richly blessed by my ministry among you and alongside Erica and Jordan, and for that I will be forever grateful.
With deep gratitude and prayer,
As I return home to you after a wonderfully refreshing sabbatical, ready to begin a new program year, I know the news of Rev. Tracy’s departure from AHCC as the Minister of Mid and Later Life was not the news you were expecting.
Even so, I am extremely happy, even grateful, that Tracy has been able to listen deeply to the Spirit’s calling – a calling which is specific and unique to her and the times in which we are living. Tracy’s ministry at AHCC has taken place exclusively during the pandemic, a season which has impacted and changed each one of us and our community. Which is to say that although I wish for more time with Tracy as a colleague at AHCC, I understand that these unprecedented times have uncovered needs and callings that we could not anticipate in March of 2020.
I am very sad to see my gifted colleague, friend, and sister take leave from her position at AHCC. But I will always be grateful that I had Tracy by my side, helping me lead, during an extremely difficult era in modern history. We are better off as a community because of the love and care she has shared, and the wisdom she has imparted. I hope that each of you will take some time in the next few weeks to relay to Tracy your own gratitude. Please mark your calendars for a special celebration of her ministry during worship on Sunday, October 16.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be working with Tracy, our talented staff team and your lay leaders to develop appropriate short-term coverage as we prayerfully consider exactly what the future might hold. I ask for both your trust and your patience as we move through this process.
Beloveds, be well and I look forward to worshipping with ALL OF YOU this Sunday as we celebrate Homecoming Sunday at Asylum Hill Congregational Church! Much love to you today.
Rev. Erica Thompson Senior Minister
The one constant throughout time and space and circumstance
is the love and grace of God that we experience in Jesus! We are never ever alone.