For more than fifteen years, The Venerable William Coyne has faithfully served the people of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts as a member of Bishop Scruton's senior staff. Since the election of Bishop Fisher a year ago, Bill has been part of the transition process. At the end of this week, he will begin a well-deserved sabbatical, and his own time of transition from full-time ministry to part-time ministry.
My time as a parish priest in Holden ran concurrently with Bill's time as Archdeacon of our Diocese. From beginning to end, he has been a support to me personally and to the people among whom I was so privileged to serve over these many years. Just this past fall he guided the wardens, vestry, and staff of St. Francis Church through a Mutual Ministry Review that will help the congregation stay focused on God's Mission as they begin to search for a new rector.
But I am even more grateful for Bill's personal support over the past six months or so since it was announced that I would be joining Bishop Fisher's staff as Canon to the Ordinary. When this news was first shared publicly back in January, one of the very first emails I got was from Bill. From that day until now, he has been incredibly gracious to me: sharing with me what he knows and has learned without a touch of condescension, and yet every time also being quick to add: "that is how it worked for us, with Gordon (the previous bishop). It may or may not be helpful for this new team."
I have told Bill in person how grateful I am of his generous spirit toward me and my new partner in ministry, the Rev. Canon Pam Mott. But I also wanted to give a more public "shout out." I am so very grateful for the good work that has been done during the previous "administration" - solid foundational work that we are now humbled to be able to build upon. Thank you, Bill.