Dear Immanuel Family,
Since 1981, Rich and Karen Garon have lived among us, loving, leading, and serving faithfully in many ways. With both gratefulness and sadness, I’m writing today to share with you that the Lord is moving them in a new direction. Here is the message I received from them yesterday:
Dear Fr. Travis,
Following up on our earlier conversation today, I wanted to again say that it is with sadness that Karen and I will be leaving the Woodbridge area. I’m not going to say that we are leaving our Immanuel family because we feel we will always be part of that family.
COVID-19 was not kind to our family in Pennsylvania and we feel called to be there to be closer to our daughter and family.
Immanuel is our spiritual home where we have grown in faith among brothers and sisters deeply committed to our Lord.
What a bright future lies ahead for a church of such strong believers. In you, the Lord has provided us a loving shepherd to lead us to fulfill His will.
Rich and Karen
Their move will happen fairly quickly – it’s likely they will relocate to Pennsylvania by late June or early July of this year. For many of you, this will indeed be sad news, since you have walked with the Garons for so many years. Even so, we have time as a community to honor and love them, and to find ways to give them a fitting farewell. The Vestry will also discuss the timing and details for when Rich will step down as Senior Warden, along with the appointment of a new Senior Warden, and the appointment of another member of the congregation to complete Rich’s term.
We’ll have the opportunity to say more to Rich and Karen in the weeks to come. For now, I’ll share that I’m sad that COVID has prevented me the joy of getting to know Karen better, and I know her absence will be deeply felt by Immanuel! And, of course, I am particularly sad to be losing the friendship, faithfulness, wisdom, and steadiness of Rich. Nevertheless, I am confident that what is good for his family ultimately will be good for the Immanuel family as well.
Rich and Karen, we agree with what you wrote in your message – you will indeed always be a part of our family!
Please pray for Rich and Karen as they engage in the poignant work of uprooting their lives from Virginia in preparation for being planted anew in Pennsylvania.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
Your Pastor in Christ,