LETTER FROM FR. KEVIN
Dear St. Stephen’s Parish Family & Friends,
My family and I are overjoyed to be called to be your next rector! It is a true blessing and honor to become part of such a vibrant, healthy, and loving community. Over the past several months I have been thoroughly impressed and delighted to learn more about the wonderful church of St. Stephen’s. It is clear that there is an excellent foundation of Christ’s love, compassion, and grace present; and with an enormous opportunity for growth as well.
Over the next several months we will get to know each other better, but to begin let me tell you a little about me. I am married to my best friend, Heather, whose vocation is a middle school librarian in the Eanes school district. We have two young boys; Holden is seven and Harper is five. And, we are rounded out by our beloved dog, Willie Nelson. I grew up in Brenham, TX, where my parents still live, and was raised in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. I attended Texas State University in San Marcos studying Anthropology and History. After graduation I was hired by the university as an archaeologist; and actually lived in Wimberley during that time. In 2001 I moved to Houston accepting the position of Director of Ministries at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Heights. My time in Houston afforded many milestones; two of great importance being that Heather and I met, and I discerned a call to ordination. In May of 2004 Heather and I were married, moved to Austin, and I entered into the Seminary of the Southwest that August. I graduated from seminary in 2007 and began my ordained ministry at St. Matthew’s in Austin. In May of 2010, I began as the rector of St. George’s in Austin.
I have learned many things from God through life’s experiences. One of the most valuable being the importance of relationship. In essence, my theology is rooted in a quote from the 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas, “The one thing our souls desire most is to be in friendship with God.” It is this basis that defines my ministry; to be a friend with God in all avenues of life. I have come to realize that to be friends with God is to be in relationship with the people of God. My hope and prayer is that we become friends through God to share the vast enormity of God’s love and grace with the world around us. This is why the first thing we are called to do at St. Stephen’s is for us to become friends. The first several months of being your rector I will want to hear your stories, and for you to hear mine. Though the current context of being in a global pandemic will hinder this initiative, I know we can find imaginative ways to accomplish it. Once I begin on September 1st I will want to hit the ground running with this initiative, so get ready!
It is our great pleasure to be moving to the Wimberley area and begin our ministry alongside all of you. I look forward to this next chapter along my faith journey, and am thrilled to do so with such a tremendous church as St. Stephen’s. I want to give a special thanks to the search committee, the vestry, and staff for your commitment and devotion to God and the church during the time of discernment. You have been a true delight to work with in discerning our call together, and I look forward to what the future holds in store. May God bless you and keep you this day and always!
The Rev. Kevin LJ Schubert