St. Alban's Clergy

The Rev. Beth Turner, Rector

Dear St. Alban’s Community:

With a big smile on my face, I say, “Hello, my name is Pastor Beth and I’m your new priest.” It won’t be long now before we are able to meet in person and begin what I hope and believe will be caring and lifegiving connections. It will be awesome to join the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement in Bexley, Ohio!

At this time, I want to make clear my heartfelt gratitude to all those who are helping me make a soft landing in a brand-new place. I moved to Columbus in the past week after living and working in the mountains of western North Carolina for quite a long time, having been ordained there in 2005. I am deeply grateful for the kindness and skill of the search committee and vestry, especially Senior Warden Miranda. The church staff and the transition committee led by Charlene continue to do so much behind the scenes to extend hospitality to me (and to my beloved dog, Tulie). I know that every one of you has a hand in these blessings as well. All this means a whole lot.

I realize you have now said ‘goodbye’ to Mother Lynn whom I can never ever thank enough for all the ways she has supported your transition and mine. What a leader and pastor she is; you have been fortunate, indeed. Throughout this entire process it has been abundantly clear that God is near, gently holding and guiding St. Alban’s Church.

Between now and when I begin my service as priest on Thursday, February 1, I have much to do to get settled and oriented to a new home and to all the necessary new places and spaces in which I will make a life. I will be eager to greet you, especially in worship on my first Sunday, February 4, the fifth of the season of Epiphany.

As I prepared to depart rural Appalachia for a city in the Midwest, more than one friend passed along the very same blessing from the late John O’Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher. The repetition got my attention, and I took it to heart.

The poet’s blessing is for a person beginning “a new position” — though some of it is fitting for us together, for our work to come as a community and priest. Here’s an excerpt, slightly adapted. I hope you can see yourselves within it.

May this work challenge us toward New frontiers that will emerge
As we begin to approach them, Calling forth from us the full force And depth of our undiscovered gifts.

May we come to know that work Which emerges from the mind of love Will have beauty and form.
May this new work be worthy Of the energy of our hearts And the light of our thoughts.

— John O’Donohue, “Blessings for a New Position,” To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (2008)

See you soon. Prayers continue for our new beginning...

Pastor Beth+