So, now that the official letter has gone to the congregation, I can post it here as well. I know some of you have been very worried about me. This will explain some of what has been going on. The important thing to know is that I am okay and my partner is okay. We are both sad, both dealing with the stresses of change, both finding that our feelings bounce around from moment to moment, but we’re still okay. Here’s the deal:
We are writing to let you know some of what is going on in our lives, because we want you to hear this news from us. Many of you have known for some time that our family has been facing significant stress. We have recently decided to separate, hoping that this will help us move forward in positive ways. We have put our house on the market and will be taking steps in the direction of our new lives over the next few months.
We are both committed to separating in a way that is as kind, collaborative, and caring as possible. All separations are emotional, and we have agreed that neither of us will share details of the process or our personal feelings with members of the church community. We are relying on support from others in our lives and are blessed to have many resources available to us.
We’ve also agreed that both of us will continue to be a part of the South Valley community. Sean, of course, will continue to minister. *Sean’s partner* will continue to volunteer in ways that are meaningful to him. Both children will continue to participate in whatever ways they choose.
Though this is a hard time for us, we feel grateful for the support and love of so many of you at South Valley. While the next few months will certainly contain grief and sadness, they also offer a new beginning that we hope will benefit both us and our children. As we move through this transition, we hope you will lend us your support, your caring, your best wishes, and your prayers.
If you have concerns about the congregation during this transition, you are invited to share them with any member of the Committee on Ministry.
In Faith and Hope,
Sean & *Sean’s partner*
It may seem strange to be so public about this, but one thing I have learned during the past year’s challenges is that people need to know that ministers are human. And since ministry is, at its heart, a relationship of trust it’s important to be as honest as possible about what is going on with me. Right now, my marriage is ending. My life is rearranging itself. I feel lucky that there is no terrible breach of trust or betrayal. Instead, there are patterns that need to be broken in order for all of us to move toward a healthier future. It isn’t easy. I am certainly sad, distracted, and worried. But I also feel relatively grounded and confident that all will be well.
So that’s the update.