A Farewell To St. George's
Father Richard Easterling

After nearly eight years of leadership at St. George’s Church, it is time for me and David to pack our bags and begin a new adventure. I have resigned from my position as Rector of the parish effective October 31, in order to take up a new position as Priest-in-Charge of St. James Episcopal Church of Florence (Italy, not Alabama). Among us and our parish, this move has stirred all the usual feelings that institutional transitions manifest: sadness for departure, pride for the work we’ve done together, optimism and anxiety for what the future may bring. It’s a lot to process and in the meantime, there’s still a ton of work to do!

People - even devout Episcopalians - sometimes express surprise that we would have an outpost in Italy (in fact, we have two: check out St. Paul’s Within the Walls for our satellite office in Rome). These parishes, like others in the Convocation of Europe exist to serve Anglican expats, travelers, and the wider community, Christian or not, doing work not totally dissimilar to the ministry done day by day at St. George’s Church here in Uptown. As I am often given to telling older children and adults pursuing the sacrament of baptism, the Anglican Church exists in all places in order that wherever you go - wherever this world may take you and whatever bruises or scars you receive along the way - you will always have a family to love you and look after you. We have felt that marvelous,  instant, and unconditional hospitality from St. Paul’s in Rome to St. George’s in Barcelona, and the scattered Anglican/Episcopal missions we’ve visited at stops along the way. 

Obviously, one need not cross the ocean or travel to far-off lands to experience this charism seemingly so woven into the Episcopal/Anglican DNA. As we say our farewells to congregants, family, and friends, David and I are mindful of the wonderful and genuine sense of family we have shared with St. George’s Episcopal School. It will soon be time for us to depart, but we would be remiss if in doing so, we had failed to thank the Board of Trustees, especially Alex Breckinridge, as well as our several church-school liaisons, the faculty, staff, parents, and most of all the students who do so much to enrich our common life. Finally, I am deeply grateful for the collegiality and friendship of Dr. Kreutziger. 

Please keep David and me in your prayers as we take our leave. St. George’s will always and assuredly be in ours.

La pace del Signore sia sempre con voi.