This is an entry I've put off writing until after Christmas Day.
Father J made the announcement he will be leaving, going to a parish up in the Midwest, where he's from.
I've become fond of him over the past three years, and though his leaving will leave me sad, I can't help thinking, "Good for him."
Apart from any desire to be closer to home, this isn't a diocese in which it's easy to head a parish, except maybe for Network types who just march to the tune with blinders on. The average rector gets headaches and heartburn, I suspect, trying to hold his or her parish together.
In this parish, people have left because Father J hasn't stood up to the bishop. People have left because he hasn't made a firm conservative stand (even though his views on sexuality are pretty conservative), and he's even had female clergy in the parish. He voted against joining the Network.
In a polarized diocese like this one in Central Florida, it's hard to take a moderate stand.