Dear St. Peter’s Family,

I remember it like yesterday when Alison and I stepped foot on the campus of St. Peter’s to worship for the first time. We were newly married, I had just started seminary, and we both held full time jobs as elementary school teachers. While St. Peter’s was a foreign place to us there was something special about it that felt like a family. We felt as close to home as we possibly could while being so far away. Over the last 12 years I have had the privilege of building incredible relationships, growing in my God given gifts, and serving alongside this great community of believers. St. Peter’s has been our family, and you have loved us well. Thank you!  Our 3 children have been born during our time here and baptized in this church. You have supported me from the days of youth ministry, through seminary and ordination, to becoming one of your shepherds as a priest.

Now the day has come where I have been offered a call to become the Rector of another church.   While I know the Lord has been preparing me for such a day, it will be incredibly difficult to say goodbye to this loving family. Nonetheless, I know without doubt that the Lord is leading this. On Friday, September 16, 2016 I accepted the call to be the next Rector of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Trussville, AL. Trussville is much like Lake Mary in that there are many young families and a great potential for ministry.

While we are extremely excited about this new opportunity, there is sadness as we leave something that has been fruitful and rewarding. You have loved us well. We know that this will be a difficult move because we, too, have loved you well. When you love well, leaving is not easy, but when you leave, you have no regrets. I can honestly say we are leaving with no regrets.

The ministries of St. Peter’s that have been under my care over the years are thriving. The youth group is being led by someone who invests in and loves students well. I would trust Josh with any youth group in the country. The Discipleship Commission of St. Peter’s is now being lay led by Joe Pollock who has a vision and passion to see people grow in their relationship with Jesus.  This makes my heart rejoice! The Worship Commission is now led by Nina Bolton who is progressing steadily to become a Deacon. As for the band, Rebecca McGaffic has agreed to take an interim position as the worship leader for the 11 am service. I am astounded by where the Lord has taken each of these ministries in my time here.

I can honestly say God has blessed St. Peter’s with an abundance of fruitful ministries and He is worthy to receive all honor and glory. I also know He has so much more in store for this church, and I look forward to hearing the many wonderful things that God will continue to do at St. Peter’s. I cannot wait to hear about the opening of the new Church on the Hill!

Know this for certain, St. Peter’s will always have a place in our hearts and will remain in our prayers. Thank you again for loving us well and for being our family. I am forever grateful!

Sincerely,
Fr. Wes Sharp