I can only begin to express my gratitude for this moment, and for the tremendous confidence that Bishop Megan and the Vestry have shown in me. It has been a great joy to get to know your community these last few years, through my work as Deanery Curate, as supply priest early in your interim period, and as a neighboring pastor in the parishes of the I-5 corridor. Indeed, I have always been moved by the welcome and real love I have encountered at All Saints', by the peace and serenity of the campus, the beauty of the music and liturgy, and by the warm hospitality of the congregation. How exciting to set off on this new journey with you all.
As many of you know, I have long ties to the Northstate. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, first in the East Bay and then in the Napa Valley, but I came to love the North Valley while attending Chico State. Though life and work has taken me across the country and back since then, I was delighted to return after attending seminary in Virginia and to make my home here. Our region has more than its share of problems. Wildfire, economic stagnation, political division, homelessness, addiction, and cultural alienation continue to plague our corner of California. But we also have our joys - the beauty of our valley and our mountains, the courage and determination of our citizens, and of course, the blessing and grace of God.
This is certainly a challenging time to embark on this new adventure. The world seems to be rapidly changing around us. From the devastation of the Carr Fire through the terrible uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are difficult times. Yet I know you have stood firm in your faith and the hope of the resurrection. As I have rejoiced in the news I received from your Vestry, I could not help but think of the first chapter of St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians: In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. Colossians 1:3-6
Indeed, I give thanks to God in my prayers for you, for the faith you have and for your love for All Saints', and I would ask you all to pray for me. May our hope remain strong and may we bear much fruit in the days and years to come as we continue to grow in the grace of God.
A Message from The Rector's Warden
Dear Fellow All Saints’ Members,
It is with great joy that, on behalf of your Vestry, I have the pleasure of announcing that Father Aidan Rontani has accepted the call to be Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Redding.
Fr. Aidan comes to us from a priest-in-charge position with parishes in Anderson, Red Bluff, and Willows. Many of us may remember Fr. Aidan from his time at All Saints’ as a supply priest. During that month, Fr. Aidan fell in love with our welcoming people, our charming building and grounds, and our beautiful music.
In addition to his experience as priest in charge, Fr. Aidan has also been involved as a curate for our deanery and as a member of the Diocesan Board of Trustees. From before his call to priesthood, Fr. Aidan has valuable experience with non-profit organization administration, the legal aspects of end-of-life planning, and church administration - experience that complements his liturgical and pastoral gifts.
Fr. Aidan will officially take the helm on August 15. I am sure we will all support his transition into this new role and help him to establish himself in the Redding community.
I would like to thank all of the All Saints’ members who have worked so tirelessly to make this new chapter possible: the Parish Profile Committee, the Applicant Review Committee, and the Vestry. I am grateful for their prayerful and discerning leadership through this transition effort. Thank you.
Throughout this transition, Rev. Carren Sheldon has faithfully walked with us through some challenging and uncertain times - including the the call for new a Bishop, the Carr Fire, and the pandemic. More than two years ago, Carren accepted our call to what we all thought would be a quick, 6-month interim assignment - and she has remained strong and steadfast, an anchor in the storms that followed. Please help me in thanking her for her commitment to All Saints’ and her contributions to our continued spiritual growth and organizational progress. We are all grateful for her presence and guidance on our transition journey. Thank you.
While we await Fr. Aidan’s arrival, there is still much to be done. We will continue to move forward with plans and preparations to re-gather in the church building. Please be patient; the Vestry and ministry leadership team are committed to re-gathering safely and taking the time necessary to do so. We will continue to offer online worship for those who choose to join us from the safety of their homes.
We are looking forward to working together with Fr. Aidan to support each other as we live into our faith and we invite and welcome the Redding community to experience the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of Jesus Christ.