The road from that point until now has been generally quite bumpy, especially as it relates to my vocational life. I have prayed and discerned, discerned and prayed, tried and failed, tried and gotten run over to find the right niche within (and without) the parameters of the Church to serve God as a priest.
In the meantime Epiphany has been down its own bumpy road as it tried (and failed), and tried (and gotten run over) to find solid clergy leadership. Last May I was asked if I would fill in there for a few Sundays to fill some gaps in the clergy schedule--what we call being a "supply" priest. Within a few weeks I was asked to serve alternate months with another priest. No problem.
I didn't know what to expect when I first returned last May, but was pleasantly surprised to find the church calm, peaceful, and hopeful. A good place to be for a church. It's membership was diminished in size, but not in spirit. It's been a good experience, good enough that conversations began to take place about the possiblity of me returning there in a more official capacity.
Jumping ahead (the full story is longer than anyone wants to read)--a few weeks ago I received a call from the bishop to tell me that he wanted to appoint me to Epiphany as Priest-in-Charge. I said yes. The appointment is for a two-year period, at which time we will all evaluate where we are, and the parish will have the option to call me as their rector.
There are a few old fogies who are resisting my return, but as we have all discussed--the Church is in a different place than they were six years ago, and I am in a different place. Our need for each other appears right, and the fit, good.
This Sunday will be my first official day as the new Priest-in-Charge. We've come full circle, that funky little church and I, and there is every reason to believe that the days ahead will be good ones.