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Thank you, Kraig Windschitl!

Dear St. Philip the Deacon Friends,

I write to share news that Kraig Windschitl, our organist and hand bell choir director, has let us know that he has accepted a position as Director of Sacred Music and Organist at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Medina. Kraig’s last day at St. Philip the Deacon will be June 16.

Kraig has been with St. Philip the Deacon for almost three years, and in that short time he has become a beloved part of our church family. We have all come to appreciate his incredible musicianship on the organ and piano, and we give thanks for his leadership of the 10:45 a.m. service, and his work to establish our hand bell choir and summer organ recital series.

I know there will be great sadness with this news, but I want to emphasize two important points as part of this announcement:

First, Kraig has made it clear that he has loved being at St. Philip the Deacon, and will be forever grateful that this congregation offered him a position when he was seriously considering giving up on church music entirely.

Second, and related to the first point, Kraig acknowledges that this was a very difficult decision, but one he felt called to, since it gives him a chance to return to the Catholic church of his upbringing. If we believe that God does indeed call us to different roles and positions at different times in our lives, it is hard to be upset with either God or Kraig with this news.

As Kraig says, “This decision was not an easy one. As you may know, I was raised Catholic and have remained active in the Roman Catholic Church all my life. This new position at Holy Name enables me to merge my Catholic faith with my love of traditional liturgy and music. As I prepare to make this transition, I find myself filled with gratitude to St. Philip the Deacon. My three years here have renewed my faith in Church music ministry, and given me hope and perseverance to, in the words of St. Benedict, ‘Listen with the Ear of the Heart’ for where God is leading me.”

Sam Grace, our Director of Music, and I have already begun the process of finding our next organist, and—just as we accept that God has called Kraig to a new role and position—we also have faith that God is preparing someone to join us for this next chapter of music at St. Philip the Deacon. If you know of someone who you think might want to apply to be our next organist, please point them to spdlc.org/organistsearch for more information about this national search. We are also profoundly grateful to long-time associate organist Steve Griffiths, who has assured us that he will be available to assist during this transition as necessary.

We will have public opportunities to say thank you to Kraig over the next couple of months, and will communicate those plans as they are firmed up. In the meantime, even as we grieve Kraig’s departure, I pray you will offer your prayers and support to him as he anticipates moving into this new role, and also that you would keep our congregation in your prayers as we prepare to welcome a new musician to our ranks.

Grace and Peace,
Tim Westermeyer
Senior Pastor

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— CHRISTIAN WISDOM —

“So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no one is useless while they have a friend.”

Robert Louis Stevenson