Since I last posted a lot has happened. I am starting to make some visitations in my new home in Southeast Florida, mostly in my role as Assisting Bishop for Congregational Vitality and Stewardship. I was blessed to attend Church of the Holy Sacrament, Pembroke Pines early in May. This is a vibrant and happy congregation under the great interim leadership of the Rev. Earl Henry. Here is the fabulous acolyte crew!
Over 200 in attendance! This is a happening place! I could not resist getting a picture of the congregation!
Next, I had the blessing of traveling to the Florida Keys, a place I love very much and have visited for years. In all those 25 plus years I have always driven right past St. James' the Fisherman Church in Islamorada. I would always pay it homage. I was blessed to be asked to be there on Pentecost. As I told the congregation that day, "I have driven by this church at least once a year for over 25 years, but it is just today when I finally SEE the Church!, because on this day I get to see and meet all of you!"
It is a great congregation, doing much in the community, including their school next door.
Islamorado is really the Middle Keys. My wife and I drove on to Key West where we planned to stay for a few days to celebrate our 39th year of marriage. On that Tuesday I trekked back up A1A to Marathon to meet the good people of St. Columba, Marathon. I have heard a lot about this amazing group of the faithful, this little band doing such great things for their community. I was able to tour the TWO stores they run, one for clothing, and one for furniture. I was able to see their amazing location, the Abbey, the Labyrinth, the new Kitchen, so much! Here is a picture of the new Kitchen, and of Rector Debra, Jody, and Kathy.
After a super lunch time with those three I headed back to Key West. The next morning I was able to have coffee with the Very Rev. Donna Mote, Rector of St. Paul's and Dean of the Keys Deanery. When I returned to our hotel, I saw a small crowd gathering around at the marina. When I popped over to see what it was, this incredible creature was putting on a show!
And then we were greeted on one of our stops by this gentle key deer. Key Deer are endangered and live in the sanctuary in the middle keys.
Then, just today I got the blessing of visiting St. Patrick's Church, West Palm Beach, to preach and spend time with their priest the Rev. Paul Rasmus and all the good people there.
Finally, I am also putting time into saving sea turtles and helping them when eggs are laid and especially when they hatch. I am just getting started with this but I have been asked to be on the Board and to especially help with fundraising. So, if you know me, you know I am not shy about asking for money, especially for a great cause, and this is one. Learn more at https://www.seaturtleop.com/ www.seaturtleop.com/
Blessings to all,
The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel is the VIII Bishop of Olympia, the Episcopal Church in Western Washington State. He has been the bishop here since September, 2007.