From Sea to Sea
From Church of Our Saviour on the Pacific to Church of Our Savior on the Atlantic
Many thanks to the vision of Mrs. Frances Vinton from Providence, Rhode Island to build three Churches of The Savior from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Because of her vision and donation, Church of Saviour, San Gabrielwas born in 1867. This year we are celebrating our 150th Anniversary. I am writing to let you know that Church of Our Saviour on the Pacific side will soon have some relationship back to a Church of Our Savior on the Atlantic side.
I will be answering the call to serve Church of Our Savior in the Diocese of New York beginning in mid-October. Our Savior, New York was established in 1973 and has been serving the Chinese immigrants in Chinatown, New York. When I helped to establish St. Francis Congregation, the second Chinese congregation in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which eventually became part of St. Thomas' Church Hacienda Heights, Our Savior, New York was one of the few churches offering financial and spiritual support. However, they have not been able to have full-time Chinese-speaking clergy in the last few years. The English-speaking interim clergy are all wonderful priests but cannot pastor them in their mother language or spend full time with them. Their priest in charge will soon finish his contract. I am aware of the congregation's need to be fed spiritually especially in their own language. As the Convener of Chinese Convocation, I was asked to help them find one. The hard truth is there is no Chinese-speaking priest available. Actually many Chinese-speaking Episcopal congregations will soon face clergy retirement. As one of the founders of Li Tim-Oi Center, I feel called to bring our Lay Leadership Training Course to them to raise up new leaders. After much prayer and discernment with the bishops in two dioceses, our rector Gary, and a few colleagues, I said yes to the call.
I am sad to leave you, but when God calls, I have to answer, "Here I am Lord. Send me." So I am not really leaving you but being sent to spread the Gospel on the Atlantic side. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the seven precious and sacred years I have been with you. There have been hard times and good times, and you have taught me so much. I have learned to be faithful and I have grown confidence as a spiritual leader. Once again, THANK YOU. May God bless us all on our journey following our Lord Jesus.
The Rev. Ada Wong Nagata+