A Letter of Gratitude from Tim Hartley: GRADUATING TO DEACON
It feels surreal to be writing this letter thanking you and inviting you all to be part of my upcoming ordination to the diaconate. My ordination will be the culmination of a formal discernment process that began for me in 2015. I have spent the last seven years with my head down, taking the next indicated step, always willing to follow the path wherever it may lead. Along the way, I have been open to going in any direction the Church needed. So it now feels a little strange to be at this temporary stopping point, preparing to be ordained.
However, what is not a surprise is that, when I look back on these past seven years, I see countless ways in which the community of Church of Our Savior has played an integral role in my journey. As part of my discernment process, I explored other churches and the various COS worship services. I volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister at COS and served with a team of committed people. I found myself, one Wednesday afternoon, part of the healing eucharist, after which I was invited to have lunch with members and staff. That healing service and the fellowship afterward became a regular part of my worship. I looked forward to those weekly lunches where I’d get to know parishioners and staff of COS, all of whom I still consider friends today. Thanks to the Altar Guild, clergy, Eucharistic Ministers, and church members who all showed up every Wednesday, the healing Eucharist affirmed the direction I was headed on my path of discernment to becoming a priest.
The healing service is also where I got to know Bill Doulos better. Bill and I have several mutual friends and share a similar story, but I have especially enjoyed his wit and dry sense of humor. I was honored when Bill asked me, some years ago, to serve on the steering committee of Jubilee Homes, because the ministry speaks to me deeply. I was also thrilled to be invited by Father Jeff last year to serve my final year of seminary as an intern working with COS and Jubilee Homes. I have loved the way COS has always welcomed me, and I thank each of you for being beacons of light these last seven years. And it is amazing to pause and look forward to my forthcoming ordination and see such a bright future for COS, where I started my discernment journey all those years ago.
The ordination is scheduled to begin at 10 am on June 11th at Saint John’s Cathedral and everyone is invited to attend in person or via the livestream (see details below) I’m just so honored to call Church of Our Savior home.
Yours in faith,
Tim Hartley, Associate for Recovery Ministries & Pastoral Care