Micanopy church says goodbye to Vicar after 37 years of service
For 37 years, members of Micanopy's Church of the Mediator have known on Sundays that Vicar Les Singleton would lead them in worship but this Sunday's service was his last. We show you how this was one goodbye not filled with tears of loss, but joy for great memories and a promise of new beginnings.
It was a longer service than usual but the pews remained filled with a congregation Father Singleton couldn't say enough good things about. "The church chose me as much as I chose it. This church is full of articulate and intelligent people who love the Lord. They're active people, worker bees, and they've been a joy, it's been a joy to be a part of this fine group of people."
As he handed off his ceremonial stole it will be a while until he steps back into the church he has welcomed so many into. "The protocol is this, as long as the interim is here I cannot come back unless a specific invitation. Then when they call the new vicar, him or her, I cannot come back for at least a year. The new people need a chance to get their feet under themselves. The Lord Jesus Christ will be here but I will not be here I'll be elsewhere that's the proper way to do it."
Jeffrey Forbes is the Senior Church Warden who said: "in the interim, Father George Holston is our interim priest and will begin on advent one on December 1st."
The church which normally has around 25 people every Sunday more than doubled that number as friends and family came to hear one more sermon. Father Singleton said, "I felt supported by dear, dear friends who repeatedly said people love you even though they can't be present personally, that matters and has meant a lot to me. Then another thought I had is I'm here with myself and 5 of my 7 siblings and our mom would be proud her children have kept up the Christian faith and that's the final thought I have."
Forbes added, "We had lots of people that Les maybe hasn't seen in many years who came today and it was just electric we had a great time."
Father Singleton says he looks forward to visiting other Florida churches as a congregation member himself and when asked if he had one more message to leave said: "We could choose to live in peace in this world, that's the choice I made and I hope everyone can make that same choice"