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Andy Hoyle Retires as Lead Usher and Ken Santoro Assumes the Role as of April 1, 2024

Andy Hoyle Retires as Lead Usher and Ken Santoro Assumes the Role as of April 1, 2024

by The Reverend Dr. Roman D. Roldan on March 27, 2024

TLDR: Please join me in thanking Andy for his decades of faithful service and please keep Ken in your prayers as he assumes overall leadership over this ministry.

In Thanksgiving by Ella Wheeler Wilcox we can find the following two verses: “There's not a day in all the year But holds some hidden pleasure, And looking back, joys oft appear To brim the past's wide measure. But blessings are like friends, I hold, Who love and labor near us. We ought to raise our notes of praise While living hearts can hear us.”[1] Today, in the midst of Holy Week, I would like to raise a note of praise for service well done by Andy Hoyle, who has chosen to step down from the Lead Usher position after decades of faithful ministry. Andy will remain an usher, but he will step down from the Coordinator position effective April 1, 2024. 

There is a word that aptly applies to Jesus of Nazareth that also applies to Andy Hoyle and that is the word humility. The collect for this last Sunday states that Christ’s choice to take upon him our nature and to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption gave us an example of his great humility. The letter to the Philippians said as much, “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God… humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a cross.” The word humility comes from the Latin Humus which means earth, dirt, soil. A way to think about humility is to think about the work that happens underground (in the dirt) to make life and growth possible. Much of the real work in farming or gardening happens underground. We all notice the healthy heads of grain or the colorful flowers, but we don’t see the hidden root system which allows the plant to grow and produce fruit. In the case of Jesus of Nazareth, it is easy to note his death and resurrection which paid the price for our salvation. What is not so easy to see is his deep obedience, his life-giving relationship with the father, his courage under attack, a love for others that often tested his energy levels and led him to exhaustion, his undying commitment to accomplish his Father’s will, etc.

Andy is a humble man with an incredibly kind spirit. He and his ushers are part of the root system that feed the liturgical life of this church. Most of us notice the beautiful liturgy, but the underground work that feeds our liturgy is just as important. For this underground work we depend on the Altar Guild, acolytes, choirs, readers, lay eucharistic volunteers, and Ushers. Today we recognize the people who are truly the face of the church. Ushers are the first people visitors meet when entering our sanctuary, and guests often choose to return to our church because of their hospitality and kindness. Ushers aid in important tasks like directing people to their seats, collecting offerings, assisting with communion, gathering attendance data for our Annual Parochial Reports, handing hospitality bags to visitors, ensuring that communion is brought to folks unable to come to the altar rail, etc. In a quiet and deeply relatable way, Andy has coordinated all scheduling for this ministry for decades and there is no one in our Church who hasn’t benefited from his steady and kind leadership. I, for one, will be eternally grateful for his support and commitment.

Following Andy will be a difficult task, but I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Ken Santoro to this important position. Ken has been an usher under Andy for years and he has the technological skills and deep faith required for this task. Above all, Ken loves the church and takes his commitments to Saint Dunstan’s very seriously. With Andy’s support, and the assistance of our large Usher Core, the future of this ministry will be in safe and capable hands under Ken. I, personally, and the other clergy as well, have pledged our commitment to ensuring that Ken is successful in his leadership of this important ministry.

Please join me in thanking Andy for his many years of faithful service and welcoming Ken to leadership within this large ministry of the Church. Keep Ken and all the ushers in your prayers, especially during this time of transition. If any of you have any questions about this appointment or wish to volunteer to become an usher, please feel free to contact Ken or myself.

May you and yours have a peaceful and joyful Holy Week. Remember that you are deeply loved by the one who died on a cross to reconcile the whole world to God.

Blessings to all,

Fr. Roman+   

[1] I left the Capital letters to mark the new lines of each verse

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