The Mother Church
of The Dakotas
517 Douglas Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078
FROM THE INTERIM RECTOR FR. TIM FOUNTAIN
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is hard for me to believe but this will be my last newsletter message to you. It seems like just yesterday that I first sat in this office, picked up the phone and started calling around to say “Hi” to you all.
My last Sunday with you will be May 26th. I’m retiring after a bit over 30 years of ordained ministry, and will begin work in the Sterile Processing unit at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.
In truth, Christians don’t “retire.” We are always representing Christ in some capacity, sometimes very publicly in church roles, sometimes more subtly (or perhaps still very publicly) in day to day living.
I don’t have any big, deep insights to pour out on this page. Perhaps the decades have taught me some poverty of spirit after all.
But I will say “Thank you, Christ Church” for a wonderful year that was inspiring and healing for me. You helped me recover from a season of personal exhaustion and gave me over a year at the altar and in the pulpit, a joy beyond what I could have asked or imagined (yes, that’s Prayer Book speak).
It has been an inspiration to see you stay together in a season of uncertainty and begin to turn toward the future that Christ will reveal here. Never forget that your faithful gathering to hear the Word of God, minister Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, and be together as friends IS the work of the church. It needs no justification beyond itself; it is the announcement of the Good News that the world continually needs. Keep it up.
If anything good came of our time together, I take no credit. I believe the challenging words of Christ reported in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Take any good beginnings or outcomes as signs that Christ Jesus is among you because you are people he loves. And don’t get down on yourselves for anything you think you’re supposed to be – just seek Christ, because he will produce good fruit in your lives and apart from him nothing good can come to be.
I’m sure we’ll cross paths again from time to time. And I praise and thank our God for that reality.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.
Christ Episcopal Church 517 Douglas Avenue Yankton, SD 57078 605.665.2456