“I’ve learned to open myself to receiving—receiving expressions of love and gratitude and sharing myself in the messiness of my tears.”
So wrote Peter Ilgenfritz on December 29, 2018, in a blog post entitled Setting Sail.
And setting sail was exactly what Peter was doing, then leaving his position as pastor and member of the leadership staff at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington, where he had served since 1994. It was a time for gratitude to come his way.
A little more than a year after his farewells on the West Coast, Peter landed here, where he now serves as interim pastor for the Congregational Church of Boothbay Harbor. It has been a trying time, what with the pandemic and everything turning on its head within weeks of his arrival in February (watch Peter Ilgenfritz on Reckoning for more on that).
But Peter is navigating it.
More than that, he is thriving, from the outset acting as a connector and convener within his new community. Yarrow & Cleat has been a particular beneficiary of Peter’s spirit of largesse—in more ways than one.
In some regard, Yarrow & Cleat owes its very existence to Peter, who early on in the pandemic brought folks together simply to explore doing something. Out of those early conversations, Yarrow & Cleat came to be—the fruit of Peter as convener. Additionally, as a member of our advisory team Peter has introduced us to numerous folks who have graced these pages as subjects of articles—Peter as connector.
And now we have reason for further gratitude toward this modest man, for it is Peter who stepped forward as the first individual from the Boothbay Region to sponsor an issue of Yarrow & Cleat (this issue) with a generous donation to support our ongoing viability.
In that same Setting Sail blog post, Peter wrote: “As I have felt myself emptying from my place in this ministry I found myself already being refashioned into the new man and pastor I will be in the next season of my life.”
We in Boothbay Harbor are the lucky ones to have this refashioned man in our midst, for he has already brought and continues to bring so much.
And lest you wonder, the only reason Peter is allowing Yarrow & Cleat to share publicly our gratitude for his gift is because he hopes his example may open other doors of support—he neither wants nor needs this public accolade.
So thank you, Peter.