Bishop Suffragan Paul Lambert Announces Retirement
Beloved People and Clergy of the Diocese of Dallas:
Many of you may remember my announcement at the Diocesan Convention this past November of my intention to retire effective August 1, 2016. I am writing to inform you that I have formally made my request to the Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. He will now inform the House of Bishops of my request and they will begin the process of granting my consent to resign as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Dallas.
Bishop George Sumner and I have spoken about the months leading to my retirement and have agreed that I will take my annual vacation in the month of July and, a month of sabbatical leave in June effectively making May 31, 2016 my last day in the diocese. The month of sabbatical leave is a carry-over from a sabbatical three years ago that was cut short by Bishop Stanton’s request for me to return early with a commitment to allow me time away later. This opportunity did not come to pass before his resignation and the ensuing months to the election of a new bishop.
During my closing months I will give attention to developing a program of pastoral care for our retired clergy and spouses of the diocese working with a future Chaplain for retired clergy. Bishop Sumner has also requested me to work with the Camp All Saints Board of Advisors, the Gateway of Grace Ministry of Mother Samira Izadi with refugee resettlement, and with Daniel Allen as he transitions out of College Ministry.
Sally and I plan to retire to Monteagle, TN, a rural community five miles from the University of the South in Sewanee. This is a very active academic community with many creative things to do. Having had two daughters and two son-in-laws graduates from Sewanee we hope to see a lot of our grandchildren over the years. All five live within driving distance in Georgia. We also plan to do some travelling and spending time with one another. In addition to these activities I will make myself available to Bishops in surrounding diocese should they need assistance.
Words really are not adequate in expressing my profound gratitude for the people and clergy of the Diocese of Dallas. You have been our spiritual family for thirty-seven years. We have made many dear and close friends, ones we hope to keep and cherish for many years to come. Sally and I will depart with hearts full of love and fond memories of our time with you. You have been so supportive of me and my ministry and I shall be forever grateful. In the words of the great theologian from Texas, George Strait, “ I will love you until the day after forever!”
May God bless and keep you and may the light of his countenance shine upon you always.