Farewell from Mathew Fenlon

Dear St. Thomas’ Family,

Mathew-Fenlon-sqIt is bittersweet for me to write you and say farewell as your Senior Associate Rector.

My friend once wrote and taught a short lesson about Rock and Roll, and just music in general, being a gift to us from God.

For many of you, including myself, you may have been taught when you were younger that we should not listen to this or that kind of music because it would warp our minds. According to the scripture this isn’t the case.

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” — Matthew 15:10-11

The reality is that the kind of music we listen to can actually give us an insight to our mood, feelings and the condition of our hearts.

This week I have been listening to Johnny Cash and the classic country radio station here in town. So there you go!

When I began my time with you as Mr. Browder’s Associate it was after a nine month period of upheaval in my life the likes of which I had never experienced or even imagined possible.

Two years later and I cannot express how great a blessing you have been to me and I cannot thank you enough for the way that you welcomed me, made me a part of this community and have been agents of God’s healing mercy to me.

I take my leave excited about the way God is working in and amongst you. People are engaging with God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is producing fruit and holiness, and your continued hunger for the grace filled message of the Good News of Jesus Christ warms my heart. There are great and exciting in things God is doing at St. Thomas’!

It is my prayer that God continues this work, which he began so many years ago in the establishment of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School, and, it is with a prayer of thanksgiving to God that I was allowed to serve Him and minister to you by Mr. Browder’s side and be able to be part of it.

Over the next few months I will be spending my time dedicated to discerning God’s will for the ministry He will call me to and I would covet your prayers as I do this.

You will all always remain in my prayers and in my heart.

This is what the music I’m listening to now is telling me; yes there is some sadness but there is greater undercurrent of joy and assurance rooted in God’s steadfast faithfulness and his great love.

So in the words of Johnny Cash’s final track from the American IV album,
“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when. But I’m sure we’ll meet again some sunny day.”

Until then I leave you with this from the Apostle Paul’s First Epistle to Timothy:

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12

Grace, Peace and Love in Christ,