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Dear Holy Apostles’ friends,
Friday, June 17th, was cloudy, looked like rain, and was the appropriate climate for the sad event of saying good bye to our Episcopal co-pastor of more than six years, the Reverend Michael Ferguson. Bishop Holly Hollerith, presided at the nearly full Galilee Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach. A number of members of Holy Apostles were disappointed the funeral could not be held at Holy Apostles, but with the number of attendees expected (and indeed there), Holy Apostles would have been overwhelmed. The sermon was delivered by the Reverend Kathleen Bobbitt, a seminary classmate of Father Mike’s. Father Mike will be laid to rest at St, Anne’s Episcopal Church in Appomattox, where he served as rector for twelve years before coming to Holy Apostles. What a shock we all experienced Sunday morning, June 12th, when most of us heard, for the first time, of Father Mike’s passing. He died peacefully while enjoying an afternoon in one of his favorite places, Dam Neck beach. The process (discernment) for bringing a new Episcopal priest to Holy Apostles had already started as a result of Father Mike’s decision to retire for health reasons. Father Mike’s death will result in an interim priest being assigned by the Diocese of Southern Virginia.
I was impressed with members of the community coming forward to volunteer for the Discernment Committee, responsible for searching and recommending the hiring of a replacement co-pastor. With the help of the diocesan consultant, it is hoped Father Mike’s successor will be found quickly and in place later this year.
The good work of Holy Apostles goes on. It will be a busy year.