The Rev. Robert Fruehwirth bids farewell to our congregation as he accepts the call to St. Matthew’s, Hillsborough.
The Rev. Robert Fruehwirth has accepted a call to become rector of St. Matthew’s in Hillsborough. His last day of service at St. Michael’s will be Sunday, July 14. The parish will host a celebration of his ministry that day after the 10 a.m. service, and all are welcome. As is custom when clergy depart, parishioners may donate to a purse in his honor. Please send checks, made payable to Robert, to Jean Olson at the church.
St. Matthew’s, constituted by the General Assembly of North Carolina 1752 as “the established church in the County of Orange,” is a historic church. The current building was consecrated in 1826.
Below are Robert’s remarks as we announced his departure.
Dear people of St. Michael’s,
Our parish is an amazing community. Souls come alive in this place. People discover themselves and discover God. We proclaim our faith clearly, celebrate it joyously, and live it in our care for one another and the world.
For me personally, ministering at St. Michael’s has been an unalloyed blessing. My soul, with yours, has come more alive here; I have discovered more of God and more of the Spirit’s gifts latent in myself. Greg’s clear preaching of our Faith has been a consistent challenge and blessing, as has Holly’s witness to Christ in her pastoral care. Greg also has passed on to me enormous wisdom regarding church leadership, nurturing lay leadership and developing a team for whom coming to work is a consistent joy. I found In St. Michael’s a place where my gifts of preaching, teaching, pastoring, and formation all flourished. We have “kept the main thing the main thing” and that has been our strength.
After considerable, lengthy, discernment I made a decision this past week to accept a call to serve Christ as the Rector of St. Matthew’s church in Hillsborough, NC. Greg did everything imaginable to keep me here — but the calling, so deep, mysterious and strong, to St. Matthews, is undeniable and filled with its own joy. It’s a call to the leadership of being a rector, and a call to be embedded with my family within a community. I go to Hillsborough strengthened, wiser, and more confident because of my time at St. Michael’s. I am especially grateful to Greg for having given the opportunity, with my idiosyncratic résumé, to be a priest and pastor in this place.
My last Sunday at St. Michael’s will be July 14th. We have a solid month for the handing over of the ministries and projects about which I care a great deal. Leave takings are never easy, but this one is blessed with gratitude.
"Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”