Mother Hillary Says “Goodbye.”

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“The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things!”-Lewis Carroll

The time has come, my dear ones, to talk about the end of my curacy with St. Luke’s. When I first met Canon Britt, at the Starbucks at Swedish First Hill Hospital, I had no idea what I was getting into. I’d heard from Canon Marda that St. Luke’s was a church devoted to serving the poor.

I knew that Ballard was a long commute from my home in Bremerton, but I could feel already the Spirit making her magic. After Britt and I had that chat at Starbucks, I knew I wanted to work with her and with the people at St. Luke’s for my first call after ordination. 

Just a few months later, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to freeze the world in its tracks. When spring of 2020 came, the hospitals became a battleground,. Chaplains and healthcare workers served as the soldiers with patients and families falling victim to the invisible virus. When my curacy at St. Lukes began, my time with you all quickly became a respite. Sure it was work and I was learning how to be a priest, from Canon Britt and from you all, but I could escape the ICU. I was so grateful, so happy to be here in a place where I could feel close to God and other people with less fear and tragedy around me.

Months and months and eventually 2 years went by, and my feelings of joy and gratitude have never ebbed. I’m not sure I have enough room in this little newsletter to convey the depth of the joy and gratitude I feel for each of you! Now, the two years that we agreed upon are coming to an end! June 26, 2022 will be my final Sunday as your curate. 

It won’t be the last time you see me, though! I’ve already agreed to serve as pulpit supply for three Sundays in August! And if I get my way, I hope to be able to say yes to more pulpit supply opportunities here and elsewhere in the future! My plan after my time with you concludes is to return to full-time hospital chaplaincy at Swedish hospital and to focus on having one job for a while.   I will continue to learn from other faith communities by doing pulpit supply when my schedule allows. 

Hospital ministry has always been part of my destiny, ever since I held my dear friend Lee’s hand in his final days. But you, dear ones, have reminded me of how precious it is to be a part of a faith community, and what an honor it is to preach and teach and walk with a church family. Thank you so much; I’ve seen very little of the world, but I feel confident that there is no place like St. Luke’s in Ballard anywhere on earth.

Thank you. I love you. And I know God will bless you, St. Luke’s, as you continue to live out your calling to feed and serve and soon, offer homes to our community. Be assured of God’s great love for you!

We’ll meet again, here or in Jerusalem! 

-Mother Hillary

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