Greetings to my dear brothers and sisters of Saint Matthew Church:
As you know, in April of 2018 I had a stroke. This stroke caused me to be absent from Saint Matthew Church for nine months. When I returned, I discovered that the Parish Council, as well as the priests and deacons of Saint Matthew Church, had stepped up to continue the sacramental ministry of our church during my recovery.
The first plan was that I would return and assume my pastoral duties as before with the assistance of the other priests. Another plan under consideration is that we would initiate a program in which together in partnership we must search for a successor. Therefore, the Parish Council, along with me as your pastor, will partner together to search for a suitable successor. The times and terms of my retirement is a decision for me and my family to make. We will inform the community when we have a decision. But at this point in time there are no immediate plans for my retirement.
In the meantime I will continue to serve you as your pastor as well as work with my staff, the Parish Council, and the clergy of Saint Matthew Church in order to forge a united front as we confront some of the challenges that now face us. I have repeatedly urged the Council who represent the congregation to inform the congregation of recent developments. This is why I write this letter to you–to shine a little light on what we are experiencing at Saint Matthew Church.
Please keep us in your prayers and consider what you might be able to contribute in terms of good ideas, suggestions, and, of course, additional money. Thank you for your generosity and consideration.
Together we can save Saint Matthew Church for another generation.
+Peter Elder Hickman
The Most Rev. Peter Elder Hickman
Bishop and Pastor