Farewell Reception for Kristine and Michael Blaess
As she has communicated to the parish very recently, the Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess has been called to be the new rector at St. Paul’s Church, Murfreesboro. This is tremendously exciting news for the Blaess family, for St. Paul’s, and for our diocese. And while I am “proud-as-punch” over this exciting new opportunity for Kristine, it is sad to bid farewell. As the family will be moving to Murfreesboro, the last Sunday for the Blaesses will be July 14.
I want in my own correspondence about this development to share first my tremendous gratitude for Kristine’s, as well as Michael’s, ministry over the past seven years. Their departure represents a loss for our parish, for our staff, and for me personally. One could find no more loyal and dedicated clergy colleagues than the Blaesses, and their contributions to our parish life have been very meaningful. As you know, Kristine has served so ably in her more recent role as Senior Associate Rector, a great service of leadership for the parish. I know you will miss them as well.
On the other hand, I am so happy for Kristine and the Blaesses in what is a very appealing and exciting new ministry. St. Paul’s is a healthy and vibrant parish of our diocese located in a thriving town with the state’s largest university. Energetic, warm, and capable, Kristine will bring great leadership to that congregation. And I am confident that the parish of St. Paul’s will prove a great community of belonging and growth for her. My conversations with Kristine over the months convince me of a very good fit and mutual blessings in this call.
I hope you will make a special point of communicating with Kristine and Michael your gratitude for their ministry in the days leading up to July 14. In that same regard, I ask you also to consider a financial “love offering” as a tangible expression of your thanksgiving. Such offerings have been a tradition of this and many other parishes for departing clergy, and you may make yours online, on Realm (Special Offering), or as a check in care of St. George’s and earmarked “Blaess Gift.” We are grateful in advance for your consideration and timely response.
Once again, I am proud of our parish to be sending off another of its associate clergy to an important leadership position in the larger church. Join me in giving thanks to God for Kristine’s and Michael’s great service to St. George’s over these past seven years. May God continue to bless Kristine, Michael, Jack, and Natalie into the years ahead. We look forward to keeping up with them in this new ministry that is not too far away!
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill