Dear Grace–St. Luke’s Parish and School Communities:
I write to share the news that Wesley Emerson, Organist–Choirmaster, has notified me that he will retire from the Parish Staff on Sunday, June 2, in order to focus on his health and wellness without the demanding duties associated with his current ministry among us. (A message from Wesley to the Parish follows this message below.)
It has been my collegial privilege to serve with Wesley since I arrived in July. The Clergy-Staff team and I shall miss his presence, natural giftedness, and countless talents, which have blessed music at GSL for many years. At almost thirty-three years of faithful ministry to the Parish and the School, Wesley leaves GSL with an inspiring music legacy. As we make this transition together, I hope this legacy will inspire us all to become even more dedicated to exceptional music at GSL.
I will be collaborating with the Wardens, Personnel Committee, and part-time Music Associate, Debbie Smith on a plan for the staff necessary to support the future of fine music at GSL. Soon, I should be able to announce an Interim Organist–Choirmaster to serve beginning Monday, June 3, while my search unfolds for our next lead parish musician. You can expect regular updates along the way, and you are welcome to contact me directly with questions concerning music at GSL.
Meanwhile, please join me for a festive leave-taking reception in celebration of the ministry of Wesley Emerson on Sunday, June 2 after the 10:30 a.m. liturgy. In addition to a special gift to be presented to Wesley from the Vestry and me on behalf of the Parish, you may offer any financial gifts in his honor to GSL Friends of Music Fund. Any other acknowledgements of appreciation may be sent directly to Wesley through the Church Office.
In thanksgiving for the faith that binds us,
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher
901.252.6320 | orencher [at] gracestlukes [dot] org
Dear GSL Parishioners,
Some of the most accessible pieces of music (in the classical world) are those with a beginning, a development (mid-section) and what is known as a recapitulation, or re-cap. Such has been my time at Grace–St. Luke’s Church.
I have spent the better part of the second half of my life in your midst. I have played for baptisms, weddings and funerals and laughed and cried with you during them all. Thank you for every experience as I am more whole as a Christian and as a human being for being with you for them. I greatly appreciate the support that I have received from Ollie since he arrived and that of the other clergy, and my fellow staff members. Now, it’s time to move on in order to focus even more on my overall health and well-being. I will celebrate with you on June 2 and then begin another part of my journey.
One of the great gifts I have learned from the Episcopal Church is seeing the sacred in all things around me. I watched, religiously, the Carol Burnett show growing up. For all the tomfoolery and silliness that occurred in that hour of television, she always finished with a song that I have carried with me my entire life, the lyrics of which read: “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song (hymn). Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say long.”
God’s peace and love to all of you,
Wesley Emerson, BM, MM
901.252.6323 | wemerson [at] gracestlukes [dot] org