February 17, 2015 by Jesse Nigro
Sadly, and yet to my great relief, I have set aside church planting in order to focus on education and my family. It was a very difficult decision. These things always seem to happen just before Lent for some reason. Maybe it’s best this way, nothing like a penitential season for me to mull things over a bit. Here’s a few excerpts from what I sent my Bishop. Hopefully I communicate the situation and my motives well enough here:
“I need to step away from St. Augustine’s Mission, because I see my current involvement with the church plant as detrimental to my family’s spiritual growth. Every Sunday that I drag them to St. Augustine’s, they seem to be missing out on much of what I would wish for their spiritual formation. At the least I could be providing for them a normal, or more healthy church experience. My wife doesn’t hear the sermons I read, and isn’t able to participate in the liturgy. Neither of us has been receiving the sacraments. My kids are simply at an age where they need two parents to keep them in line for an entire church service, and having actual pews to corral them in wouldn’t hurt either. This is my primary reason for leaving. The time and energy spent on St. Augustine’s simply doesn’t benefit my family the way it should, and therefore isn’t something I can justify continuing to do. I’d like to rectify this situation as soon as possible, in order to avoid feelings of resentment.
I haven’t given up on Anglicanism, nor am I choosing to ignore a potential call to the ministry that I’ve been discerning. I’m simply choosing to put church planting on the back-burner for the time being. As a husband and a father I need to make sure that my family’s needs aren’t being shoved aside in order to accomplish other goals, and that’s definitely how things have felt lately. I need to focus on finishing my undergraduate degree. I need to make sure that our family is making ends meet every month, while at the same time investing in our future. My time doesn’t really belong to me, I realize that. The time and effort that I’ve spent towards keeping St. Augustine’s going was all done willingly and sometimes joyfully. Always out of a sense of duty and devotion. I figured that if God wanted me to serve in this way then I would do my part. It seems as though we may have moved too fast though. We’ve tried too much with too little, and now I’m afraid that I’ve got to leave it behind.
My hope is that some day there will be an Anglican parish in Omaha again. If I am called in the future to be help establish such a parish then I will strive to be faithful to that call. But things are going to have to look very different, and it will have to be something that works well for my family. Of course sacrifices always need to be made, and I’m not unwilling to go the extra mile, but there are limits. I don’t count this experience as a total loss either, I’ve actually learned a lot! Who knows, maybe a priest will move out here and get something started? In the mean time I hope to find a Lutheran parish for us to call “home,” and to get through college as quickly as possible before considering seminary options.”
Whelp that about sums things up. Once again we are Anglicans in the wilderness, currently enjoying the gracious hospitality of a Lutheran congregation. I would appreciate your prayers for my family and the rest who were part of our little mission, as we try to settle in somewhere.