Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Directions
This blog will be undergoing a transition, as I go from being a parish priest in Woodinville, WA, to being a chaplain in the US Navy! I'll be trying to think of a new name for my blog other than 'Anglican Parish Priest' : any suggestions would be welcome! Please comment if you have an idea.

I fondly wish the folks of Saint Bartholomew's well as they go forward and search for my successor as Rector. I have made many wonderful friends at Saint Bartholomew's, not to mention the godparents of my two daughters who I baptized there. Some of my professional dreams as a parish priest also came to fruition for the first time at Saint Bartholomew's, such as: the reading of Morning and Evening Prayer in the Church as a daily public worship Service; an ongoing Scripture Study utilizing patristic commentary and Anglican divines; an annual Parish Retreat; a Parish Newsletter; a seasonal Supper/Evensong/Educational Series; an Acolyte program. My special contribution to Saint Bartholomew's (and the most fun!) was an afterschool program for vested Choir. This had been the subject of my doctoral dissertation at the University of California (Santa Barbara), and I was able to implement it to some degree at Saint Bartholomew's, where my wife and I worked with 15 boy and girl choristers over almost 4 years. We had an annual Choir Camp each Summer, and regular rehearsals throughout the school year, utilizing the RSCM training scheme. The Choir's performances included a monthly Service of Choral Holy Communion, and a Choral Evensong about once a quarter. The kids learned a lot of repertoire during that time, and hopefully learned choral singing skills that will bring them joy for a lifetime. For a small parish that was spread out over a large geographical area, that was all we could manage, but I am thankful for some very supportive parents who helped make the endeavor possible.

For my family and I, the road ahead definitely looks exciting. I am presently at Naval Station Newport, R. I., where I will undergo 5 weeks of training at Officer Development School followed by 7 weeks at Navy Chaplain School. Newport is a beautiful spot! My wife and family are staying with the grandparents, getting to know them better over the Summer. When we are reunited as a family, it will be at our ultimate duty station, at Camp Pendleton in North San Diego County. We look forward to serving our country in the Navy and Marine Corps.

What I am going to call this blog now is an open question : once again, any suggestions would be appreciated. I hope to keep blogging. Many Thanks, and Joy in Christ to all, Fr. Daniel McGrath