“It has been a gracious and joyous year for me.”
Chris Thompson arrived at Saint Mark’s a year ago with a smile on his face, and now he has departed, still wearing a smile.
He arrived to serve as interim rector after the retirement of Rev. Paul St. Germain as rector and prior to the arrival of our new rector, Rev. Vicki Zust, on Sept. 1.
Not that it was an easy year for Chris and the congregation.
“Paul had been here 13 years and things were in good shape. The elephant in the room was the (Covid) pandemic,” Chris said. He recalled Rev. Jason Leo, the diocesan Canon for Transitions, telling him ‘They won’t forget you if you get them through the pandemic.’
Chris added: “When you think about it, we did. We had only two virus-related issues, both related to funerals. As far as I know, we had nobody in the hospital with the virus.”
Plenty of help came from the Open Hearts, Open Doors task force organized last year by then-Senior Warden Dot Yeager. The installation of livestreaming audio/video technology to broadcast Saint Mark’s services was a huge plus.
Office Manager Melanie Jacobs and Music Director Matthew Bester “stepped up in incredible ways,” Chris said. “I will be thankful and remember the incredible online Christmas pageant. What we thought was impossible became possible.”
Chris and his wife, Mary Jo, now will settle back into their home in Winston-Salem, NC. Chris retired (kinda, sorta) in 2010. He has served previous postings as an interim rector; as of a few weeks ago, his future plans were undetermined. “I’m going to stay connected (serving as a priest); I’m going to do something,” he said. “I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do (be a priest) since I was 12.
“And I’m also going to decompress. I’m going to put my grill together that’s been sitting in a box since November of last year.”
Chris and Mary Jo’s eight grandchildren will figure into the picture, too. That’s especially true for their three youngest grandchildren, who live in South Carolina, whom Chris hasn’t seen since the start of the pandemic early last year.
Chris said he’s optimistic about Saint Mark’s, calling it a “very healthy, forward-thinking, hopeful church.” He encouraged parishioners to set their goals high in their religious lives. “Christ will meet us at our expectations.”
As for the past 12 months, Chris said, “It has been a gracious and joyous year for me.”
Chris Thompson Farewell Fund and Blessings eCard
Throughout the month of August, donations and blessings are being collected in thanksgiving of Chris’ leadership and ministry at Saint Mark’s.
If you would like to make a financial contribution, an online gift can be made by clicking on GIVE below or by by texting “GIVE” to 614-665-6508. Or if you prefer, you may mail a check to: Saint Mark’s, 2151 Dorset Road, Upper Arlington, OH 43221. In addition, you may also place an envelope in the collection plate on Sundays or simply contact Phil Glandon at 614-486-5806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.In addition you can send your blessings, thanksgivings and well wishes to Chris and Mary Jo by signing their eCard. Messages are sent securely and are not viewed by the public.
If you wish to send Chris and Mary Jo an enveloped letter or card you may mail it to the church office and it will be forwarded to their home in Winston-Salem.