We began our final week of Steven Strane’s ministry among us by putting him in the dunk tank. It was all for a good cause at our Fruit’s of the Harvest fundraiser for outreach, but for the crowd it was the perfect opportunity to tell the Rector of St. Timothy’s that no matter how much we love him he was still going into the tank—and so he did.
And while we were at it we invested Kathy Trapani as our Interim Rector by sending her to the dunk tank too.
For the family of St Timothy’s this is a bittersweet week of transition and love, of anxiety and praise, of dread and anticipation. The last 22 years of Steven’s tenure as our Rector seem to have zoomed by in reflection and we have come to accept his calm manner, his genuine love for us and his consistent leadership and pastoral care for our needs. With his trusty sidekick Kathy Trapani they have celebrated our joys and held us in our pain.
Steven’s decision to retire was a surprise and yet the parish has accepted his decision with the same trust and love we have all others he has made. This was not a choice any of us would have made, but we love Steven so much that we trust him and his judgment that this is a good time for this change.
And so we will complete the circle this week.
Tears will be shed, stories told, hugs aplenty but everywhere there will be love. Love for Steven and Jane as we send them on their way. Love for St. Timothy’s and our faith in the mission work of the Episcopal Church in this Diocese.
But mostly we will pray and give thanks to God for the pure and perfect gift of Steven Strane to be our Rector and friend these past 22 years.
We are part of an unbroken chain of faith that flows from God to the Bishop of California to the Rector of St. Paul’s Walnut Creek who in one month helped plant a mission congregation in the San Ramon Valley in obedience to his bishop—and 57 years later here we are overflowing with the Holy Spirit doing the mission work of the church.
The greatest tribute to Steven Strane we can offer is found in scores of ways the people of St Timothy’s heed his call to roll up our sleeves and do the mission work of the church. And so it is with hundred of hands touching thousands of lives on our campus, in our community and around the world through the beneficiaries of Fruits of the Harvest and the hands-on involvement of the people of this parish in countless other ministries.
Whether it is through Loaves and Fishes feeding the hungry in our community, or through our support of Sentinels of Freedom that helps the brave men and women who served our country and protected our freedom and were grievously wounded and now need a fresh start or the work of the Gretta Foundation training nurses in villages in Malawi to serve their neighbors—each of the lives touched is a gift to Steven through work in the church.
So last night there was no place he would rather have been than sitting on the board in the dunk tank waiting for the next ball to send him to the deep.
So take that, Brother!
We love you, Steven, and we thank you. We pray that the joy you have brought to our hearts as our pastor and friend will be repaid to you a thousand times over.