“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”.
I have to admit, over the past 18 months that we have been without a rector, I have grown weak, weary and faint. I have not soared like an eagle. Many of you have felt similar emotions. BUT. . . We have waited “patiently” upon the Lord and our patience has been rewarded. It is with GREAT pleasure that I, along with St. Theodore’s Vestry and Search Committee, am enthusiastically announcing the calling of a new Rector to our church family! The Reverend Brandon Hudson has answered the call to lead us forth in joy and love as the local shepherd of our St. Theodore’s flock. Words cannot express the excitement (and let’s be honest, relief!) those of us who have met Fr. Brandon have, for the gifts and visions he brings with him. We will be planning a meet-and-greet for the parish in July to officially welcome him to the fold. We know everyone will welcome Fr. Brandon and Ty with the love and open arms for which St. Theodores is so well known. While we await Fr. Brandon’s arrival, please join us in prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for the unwavering work of the Search Committee and for our church family as we begin this new phase of our ministry at St. Theodores. Thanks be to God! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
-- Sharon Moravits
Following is some biographical information about Fr. Hudson:
A native of Northwest Arkansas, the Rev. Brandon J. Hudson received a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies with minors in Religious Studies and Music from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and a Master of Divinity from the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Prior to seminary, Fr. Brandon was shaped by his career in restaurant and retail store management. "The service industry," he says, "has been one of my greatest spiritual teachers." While he was a layperson, Brandon served the Diocese of Arkansas in many roles, including a term on the bishop's Executive Council and as an EfM (Education for Ministry) group mentor for nearly a decade. A creative at heart, Fr. Brandon is also a self-taught oil painter-- you may see some of his artwork at www.brandonjhudsonfineart.
Dear People of St. Theodore's,
Happy Easter! It is with a heart full of gratitude that I will be coming to serve St. Theodore's Episcopal Church as your new rector! As a native of Northwest Arkansas, I have always considered Bella Vista to be the hidden gem of this area. People come from all over to Benton county and they bring with them the richness of their skills and their lived experiences. One thing I've learned in getting to know your lay leadership thus far is that this community of faith here at St. Theodore's has a wealth of talent and a heart for one another. You've done an amazing job of keeping your ship together and moving in the right direction, so to speak, despite the myriad challenges this pandemic has thrown at you. This speaks not only to your innate organizational abilities, but more importantly to your love and commitment to one another. You should all be proud of that!
I am so excited to get to know each one of you-- to pray and worship with you, and to serve the people of Benton County in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ alongside you. Ty and I will be joining you July 1st, and until then, I must fulfill my commitments to St. Thomas, Springdale. I will be caring for the St. Thomas community for a few weeks while the Rev. Pam Morgan is away on vacation. She will return at Pentecost, and then Ty and I will need a few weeks to say our goodbyes to our current community who have been so important to our faith formation throughout many years. Finally, I will take a week off so that I may come to you renewed and ready to be fully present with you. Please know that in these intervening weeks, I am holding you here at St. Theodore's in my daily prayers and in my heart. Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Alleluia, Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
Rev. Brandon J. Hudson+