Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It brings me both joy and sadness to write to share with you the news that our Associate Rector, Mother Erika Takacs, has been called to serve as the eleventh Rector of the Church of the Atonement in Chicago. This is a marvelous call to ministry in a parish where Mother Takacs’s many gifts are extremely well suited. I know that together with God’s people in that place, Mother Takacs is sure to build ministry that glorifies God’s Name and serves God’s kingdom, as she has done here for nearly seven years. Anticipating this good work accounts for the joy!
Facing the tasks of saying good-bye to Erika, and of imagining ministry here without her accounts for the sadness. Erika is not only an exceptional colleague in ministry, she is a one-of-a kind priest, whose extraordinary talents in liturgy, music, as a preacher, teacher, and leader of various ministries (especially with children and families) are matched by her faithfulness, the grace apparent in her life, and her warmth and love. It has been my delight to realize with regularity over these past years that I am sometimes called to serve in her shadow, as her reputation has grown and been recognized far and wide. And it has been a blessing of untold measure to be fed by her preaching. Any rector would thank God for Erika: I certainly do!
The Church of the Atonement enjoys a reputation that will only be enhanced with Erika’s leadership. Erika appreciates the challenges the church at large faces, and she has shown how well-equipped she is to take them on, and to help the church to grow and to thrive. It is not only good and right that she should move on to lead a parish as its rector, it’s important that she does so - the church needs leaders like her - and I am thankful that God is calling her to serve in such a fine place.
Erika will continue to be with us through June 17. Shortly I’ll reach out to you all to share plans to rejoice with her as she moves on, and to thank her and her husband Dan Shapiro for all they have done for this parish, and to send them on their way to Chicago with our blessings and love. Meanwhile, I know you will waste no time in getting a head start in letting her know how much we will miss her.
(The Rev.) Sean E. Mullen