(Islands Sounder – April 24, 2013) After almost six years as part-time Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Parish of Orcas Island, Bishop Craig Anderson announced his retirement effective May 1.
“It’s been a wonderful six years and I leave knowing that the congregation will be moving from strength to strength as it anticipates new opportunities for ministry here on the Island and the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia,” Anderson said.
He went on to note that “thanks to the hard work and shared leadership of the parish family,” the congregation has grown in its outreach to the community as evidenced by the labyrinth, special movie nights, the Dinner Kitchen, Brown Bag Summer Concerts, and hosting a variety of not-for-profit organizations on Orcas, as well as financial grants and contributions to various organizations that work for the common good. In tithing over 10 percent of its annual member contributions, the church supports ministry to the elderly, education for children and support of environmental causes. In addition, the congregation has grown significantly in terms of new members, financial support and parish programs.
Although retiring for the third time, Bishop Anderson will be continuing his ministry as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Olympia.
“I look forward to getting to know and visit churches in western Washington and helping with various Diocesan programs,” he said.
In his retirement, he will stay involved with the Orcas Island Community Foundation as a member of the board, as well as devoting more time to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, supporting environmental programs, such as Friends of the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in western Minnesota, and working with the USDA and National Fish and Wildlife Service on sustainable farming projects and restoring prairie habitat on his farm in Minnesota.
The Reverends Kate Kinney and Wray MacKay, recently retired priests of the Diocese of Olympia and residents of Orcas since last summer, will be serving as Interim Co-Rectors while Emmanuel Parish works with the Diocese to find a new rector for the church.