Happy Anniversary to Me

Photo by Maddie Sumser.  Location:  Bearfence Rock Scramble in the Shenandoah National Park


Today is my first anniversary as an Episcopalian. I’ve wrestled with how exactly to share this special anniversary occasion with you … not wanting to be disrespectful of my past, but not wanting to deny my present – and not entirely sure how to reach a happy middle ground, which is so Episcopalian!

Let me just share that my journey into the Episcopal Church began over twenty years ago when I watched from a distance as the Episcopal Church welcomed one minority group after another.  As I prepared myself for leaving one religion to join another, I realized somewhere along the journey that I wasn’t running away from something as much as I was running to something which I wholeheartedly believed in, namely the inclusion of the whole Body of Christ. I can’t tell you how much at peace I am in my decision.  The decision cost me dearly, but in what I lost (my position as a priest, relationships, my security in having a roof over my head and food on my table, my retirement and eventually my health insurance) I gained far more in the forming of my own conscience to follow God’s Call to a church which is a far better fit for me.  One of our wonderful bishops in The Diocese of Virginia likes to say, “We have been unable for forty years to find anyone to exclude from the Episcopal Church.”  It is this inclusion that I, along with countless other Episcopalians, celebrate this day and every day. Folks, if you’ve been unable to find a worshipping community where you will be welcomed with open arms, please consider joining the Episcopal Church – you will be most welcome here.

Peace friends,



  • Joyce says:

    Like so many before you who have taken this leap of faith, you continue to live the Good News of Jesus Christ!

  • Christine says:

    Congrats Chuck! We are so proud of you! And always know that you always have a “roof” and food with the Reilly’s – anything you need, we are here for you (as you have always been for us and so many others).

  • Yvonne says:

    My Dear Chuck, wishing you many more years of happiness and contentment. May you be blessed by God’s Hand. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • Jim and Roni says:

    Chuck – May God bless you abundantly in your continuing journey!!

  • Ann says:

    Dear Chuck,

    Our love to you on this very special day as you continue the journey set for you by God. We feel so blessed to have you in our lives and rejoice in knowing there are many, many folks just waiting to have Chuck McCoart come into thier lives, too.
    Ann and Jay

  • Velvet says:

    Chuck, I’m so happy for you. I love you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Please tell Brock- Gracie sends her love as well. 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    Congratulations, I am so happy you are in a place that blesses you as much as you blessed us …. and Brock blessed Jeff

  • Ruta says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary Chuck! Geo and I could not be more happy for you and the journey you are taking. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily. If you ever need a sunny get away, Bilafer’s Beach Paradise is waiting for you and Brock! God Bless & Hugs from all!!!!

  • Mila says:

    Congratulations on following your heart. Are you going to be an Episcopal Priest? You have so much to give.
    My prayers are with you.


  • Marty says:

    Chuck, God loves you and so do I, no matter where you call home.

  • Andrew says:


    You are a true blessing to all those that may cross your path. I stand in awe of you and your outlook of this place we all struggle to survive in. You have such a unique look at the world we live in,your thoughts,ideas,and knowledge benefit all that know you. I wish you and yours the very best. Knowing you as a friend and not just the Priest that married us, You Baptized our children,and will forever be apart of our Family. No matter where your Journey may take you, We are always here for you. Congrats on your anniversary !! We hope you get a location out our direction. Wish you and your family the VERY BEST,!!! Please notify us of your location we would love to come and see you.

    Andy & Sheri

  • Barbara says:

    Happy Anniversary, could not be more excited for anyone than we are for you today after reading this message. We know it is about prayer and saying Yes when we are faced with life decisions and choices. You have obviously said Yes at just the right time.

  • Eliana says:

    My God continue guiding you in leading his flock. Just continue being true to yourself.

    Have a Blessed Christmas,

  • Jonathan says:

    Chuck, I certainly concur. Seems to me that, as the Book of Common Prayer says in an entirely different context, you’re moving “from strength to strength.” Certainly you’re not running from your past but, I think, building on the strength of your past. So now you can continue running to your new place of service. That’s an inspiration for all of us who yearn to continue to grow. —- Shalom! . . . . . — Jonathan

  • Michelle says:

    Happy Anniversary to you!! More importantly, I am so very happy that you have found peace during this time of significant change.

  • Tony says:

    Congratulations Chuck,you haven’t changed your religion.You became a Christian
    when you were baptized and you remain a Christian,in the one true religion.
    Merry Christmas

  • Mia says:

    Chuck, congrats on the milestone. Come see us at St. Clement sometime. We can hardly wait to celebrate with you on that happy day you are an Episcopalian priest.

  • Pat says:

    Isn’t it wonderful! Congratulations on your journey. Peace

  • Roberta says:

    We’re happy to have you with us, Chuck! Happy Anniversary!

  • Barbara K. says:

    Congratulations — from another “new” Episcopallian. We have been so blessed to have you with us at St. A’s. Hope to see you again soon. (Would love to talk “Shanandoah Valley/River” with you — I have a little cabin on the River which is my “haven”.)

  • Bill Z says:

    Chuck–You may have changed religions, but you remain as faithful to God as ever. I don’t doubt that God is leading you on this path.

  • Stacy says:

    Congrats on your first year Chuck! I would Love to bring my family up there to celebrate one Sunday with you!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
    Stacy and Family!!

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