A Letter to the Parish | Gersain Announces Retirement

Dear Friends in Christ,

In September of 2002, Gersain Agudelo came to work here at St. Mary’s and join the ministry of this community in Christ as one of our treasured Parish Sextons. So, by the time I arrived here at St. Mary’s a couple of years ago, Gersain was a long-standing and much-beloved member of our staff and a friend to so many of us. He was one of the first people I met on my first official day here at St. Mary’s. I remember when I introduced myself to him, he threw his arms into the air and shouted, ‘¡buenos dias!’, grabbed my hand with both of his hands to shake it, and said how glad he was to welcome me to St. Mary’s! His spirit has always been just that encouraging and enthusiastic, and I thank God for that spirit and for him.

I am writing to share that Gersain has announced his retirement at the end of this month. He had thought it might be closer to the end of the summer, but for him the time is right now. He has sold his home here in Richmond and plans to return to his native Columbia during the first week of August.

Under normal circumstances, we would have celebrated a ‘Thank you God for Gersain!’ Sunday with a proper and festive reception. We would have all had a chance to shake his hand or hug his neck in person and send him off with our love and thanksgiving. Sadly, of course, we cannot do that. But I do want to offer some tangible means for Gersain to know how much we love him and appreciate his faithful work and ministry with us at St. Mary’s.

I hope you will join me in offering a monetary gift to be given to Gersain. Please make your check payable to ‘St. Mary’s Church’ and write ‘Gersain Gift’ in the memo line. You can also make a gift on-line by going to www.stmarysgoochland.org, hover over the ‘Give’ link at the top of the homepage to reveal a drop-down menu, then click on ‘e-Giving: pledge by credit card’ in the drop-down menu or simply follow this direct link. This will take you to separate page, St. Mary’s online giving portal. Under “Give Now” there is a ‘choose a fund’ drop-down menu. Select ‘Gersain Farewell Gift’, type in the amount, click ‘submit’ and then follow the instructions from there.

I hope you will make an effort to do this as promptly so that we can gather this gift for him before he leaves. For gifts that arrive after his return to Columbia, we will make arrangements for those funds to follow him there.

And I hope that you will join me in thanking God for this wonderful man, colleague, and friend, and for the ministry we have shared together over so many years here at St. Mary’s.

Your brother in Christ,

The Reverend David May