One of the wisdoms of transitions, I am learning, is to have mentoring conversations with powerful coaches in order to leave this amazing congregation and so many I have come to love—to leave well. The most helpful discussion I have had has been with my ingenious predecessor, Mark Anschutz. His advice was so insightful; I thought it would be useful to report to you.

First, we talked about tending to wounds. I know I have brought disappointment, frustration and anger to people who cherish this church and its vital ministries. I must acknowledge these injuries with remorse and respect. Though there have been disagreements and division, I am more than aware that those who have been in opposition had the best for Christ Church at heart. The value of dissent, even sabotage, needs to be recognized. The bonds of healing create strength and resiliency. Lead with your vulnerability in such encounters, the advice goes, and bridges to a smarter, brighter future will be built. Above all, pray your way into and out of such difficult conversations.

When you resign, expect battle fatigue. Physical, mental and spiritual weariness. Find a way to get rested and restored. Prayer, exercise, art museums, theater, film, books, fun—all the things that got sidelined while working will help. Expect greater health in every category within a year. Enjoy being the dictator of your own time. Without the weight of the mantle of responsibility, you can lighten up and still be engaging to make a difference wherever your passions lead you. The surprise is—you will be more effective than ever.

As you retire, think reinvention or refinement. There are passions to be followed and absurdities to pursue. Go into this new space where you have never been before and mine your passions with impunity and no need to clear it with anyone but God. Pursue your absurdities with relish. Those hobbies and hunches you were never able to attend to. Try to work with your hands. You have been in your brain for so long your hands are crying for attention. If you can’t find anything to do—sew, but don’t twiddle your thumbs.

Lastly, when you search for your next church to be a parishioner, don’t be Rector-centered. They come as fast as they go. Be community focused. People in the pews are what you are there for.

Thanks Mark.