Less than 10% of the membership was here the last time we did a search, which takes at least a year given all the Diocesan procedures (we can't even start the process until he leaves, the reason being to prevent him from biasing the search--I told him no other public or private entity times it this way when there's a friendly resignation).
Facing us in the near future is hiring a new rector and a youth minister, operating with lay leadership for an extended period, and eventually accommodating to the style of the new priest. There are going to be significant changes, and there's nothing to do to prevent them. Churches always lose members during a search.
Even to this occasional basketball follower, the death of the 41-year-old retired L.A. Laker came us a shock. A brash 17-year-old when he entered the NBA, he won five NBA championships and was an All-Star for 18 years. But he had significant low points: 2003 sexual assault charges that were settled out of court, fallings out with players and coaches, and significant season-ending injuries (torn Achilles tendon, shoulder, knee).
As he neared retirement, Kobe Bryant's travails seemed to make him wiser, empathetic, philosophical, and charitable. He counseled young NBA players and devoted significant time and money to inculcating knowledge and values to children. He became an unofficial ambassador of the NBA worldwide and was preparing for a rich life after basketball, melding sports, entertainment, business, education, and philanthropy.
Kobe Bryant was an inspiration to youth because he demonstrated how hard work can overcome a humble origin.
But he was also an inspiration to oldsters when he showed that the inevitable changes brought on by the passage of time should be welcomed, not feared. I am sorry that he will not be here to show us how he did it.