A Note From the Rector

Gratitude is a practice which promotes happiness, according to social scientists who created the happiness index.  People who are deliberate in giving thanks are able to preserve, to learn, and to be content with their lives and their relationships tend to be fuller.  Being grateful fuels joy.
Contemplating Brandon Peete’s last Sunday as our associate rector has served to remind me of how grateful I am to have had him as a colleague and as a leader of St. Stephen’s.  Brandon has served our community well and I am grateful for the gifts he has shared among us.  While we may be sad to say goodbye on Sunday (and we are), it is also fitting that we express our thanks and recognize the joy he leaves in his wake.
Brandon is a superb teacher.  He has aided us as adults in engaging provocative questions of faith in ways that were creative, challenging, and nurturing.  He has fostered curiosity and inquiry among adult students and leaders alike.  Many of us are deeper spiritually today than we were four years ago as a result of learning with and from him.  We now have dozens of people who have engaged questions theologically by both teaching and learning.  He leaves a new EFM mentor raised up among us and a team of eager lay leaders to carry on Kadosh, Adult Formation.
Our school now is beginning to claim and live out an Episcopal identity.  Brandon has instituted regular Eucharists at St. Stephen’s where students from ages 15 months - 18 years gained exposure to our liturgy and song.  They came to know that respecting the dignity of every human being and working for justice and peace is central to Christian faith.  This was profoundly evangelistic work and it had a major impact on our school community.
The structure of our parish was strengthened by his administrative gifts and attention to detail.  Brandon has appreciated the power of systems that work effectively and has left us with many new ways of executing procedures which have enabled the growth and development of our parish.  He has kept our staff supported and accountable for their ministries.
I am deeply grateful for Brandon’s ministry here and I know that God will use the riches of his gifts to serve God’s people at Berkley Prep.  They will come to have a share of our joy through Brandon’s abundant skills.  He leaves us strengthened and equipped for our next phase as well.

- The Reverend Lisa Hunt