A Tribute and Sending of Blessing
A Tribute and Sending of Blessing
Fr. Michael Roeske
At The Church of the Advocate / Red Door Ministry (COA), our icon “Resurrected Christ”, written by Sister Marie-Paul Farran, has Christs’ “Arms Wide Open” waiting for and welcoming all to the services and the help that they receive through The Red Door Ministry.
An integral part of Christ’s welcome at COA are those who welcome the jobless, the homeless and those from other churches. Rev. Michael Roeske with his spirit has been that welcome, spirit and understanding that is integral both to COA and what Christ has called each of us to be.
Here are just some picture and testimonies of the community and some of the welcoming that Father Michael has been part of:
(Note: images can be clicked on, enlarged, and scrolled through. On an enlarged image you can also Right Click and save that image to your computer)
I met Father Michael about 8 years ago while first attending the Church of the Advocate. As I became more involved in ministry at Church of the Advocate, our paths crossed. As time went on, Father Michael and I started working closely together in ministry and a good friendship developed. Father Michael was a great supporter and contributor to our Tuesday morning Lectio Divina group. He would often say that the best place to be on Tuesday morning in Asheville North Carolina was sitting in the circle at Lectio Divina. I constantly used Father Michael to explain difficult words or passage before our Lectio Divina officially began at 9:30. I considered him our in-residence theologian and Biblical scholar. We would laugh as I would frequently say, “Now Lectio Divina is not a Bible study, but before we begin, Father Michael would you please explain…” During our Sunday Holy Eucharist and meal, Father Michael was a great helper. He was often asked to read the Gospel during the Sunday Holy Eucharist. He was also a constant help in the kitchen. He could be seen in the kitchen, cleaning the Holy Communion set or helping to set out the meal. I would sometimes ask him to bless prayer cards or other items that would be given to those we serve. The word “no” was just not in his vocabulary when it came to service and ministry.
Mother Teresa once said, “I never wanted to change the world. I only wanted to be a drop of pure water that reflects God’s love.” Father Michael has been a drop of pure water to the Church of the Advocate. He would be the one who would sit and eat next to the individual that was experiencing a rough time. He would be the one to patiently listen to someone caught in the cycle of trauma, chaos, addiction, abuse, and neglect. He would be the one to befriend an individual that had exhausted all human connections. Thank you Father Michael for living out the example of Jesus in a very real way. Thank you for showing us how to humbly carry the Light of Christ so that others may simply experience the Light of Life. ---- Brother John Huebner, OSF, Franciscan Missionary Brother
As I recall, we first connected at Ben's Tune Up when one of us mentioned "Feud: Bette and Joan" about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford!! We were IMMEDIATELY laughing and talking 90 miles an hour about that show! In just our easy laughter with each other I could tell I had found a kindred spirit! Michael, I just love you. I love your dedication to your faith, your quick wit, your dear, kind heart. Your new parishioners will be so blessed. You have truly had to walk the walk and talk the talk in your life and you will bring that openness to your new flock!! I will miss seeing you, and yet I know you will always be a friend of mine! Distance doesn't change that. Best to you my friend and may blessings surround you and fill you! -Beth
Michael, your welcoming smile and genuine warmth extended a comforting and warm welcome when and where it was most needed. The wisdom and friendship you shared without reservation allowed the Holy Spirit to shine brightly in all of us. Many Thanks for making The Red Door your second home. Peace and Strength for the Journey. - Rhonda
I saw Michael before I knew him. Playing music from the other side of the room I saw that: he was tall, he was with all the congregation AND was part of the congregation, people gravitated to him and he listened and talked with them, not at them. Then through Prayer Circles and Lectio Divina I got to know Michael and his heart and understood what a kindred soul and blessing he was and is- to me and all that he meets and greets with “Arms Wide Open”. I am so happy that Father Michael gets to share the love and good news in his new church home. – Gerald
Father Michael has been a good friend to me. He is a most trusted friend. I can’t imagine a world without him. I remember the time Father Michael, Father Vic, Brother John, and I were in the church van talking and laughing. Father Vic was driving and wasn’t really paying attention. Suddenly, there was a car in front of us that was stopped. Father Vic slammed on the brakes. My eyes were so wide that you could have seen inside them. I then said, “Father Vic, you might want to pay more attention to the road.” There was silence for a few seconds, then we all started laughing so hard that it hurt. I wish you well Father Michael. - Sincerely, Josh Walker, Church of the Advocate Youth
Dear Michael, How honored I was to grow as friends in Asheville and then continue with visits and your company in New York City. You are gift, Michael, to anyone that comes near you! You welcome and bless. My heart was made glad anytime you entered the doors of Advocate. Truly, In your company is the presence of our loving God, the light of Christ. Thank you for shining your light on me. Thank you for your friendship. Godspeed and bless you as travel and make a home in the Midwest. The good Lord goes ahead and prepares a generous and loving place for you. - I love you Michael! Shine on! - Pastor Sarah
It is wonderful to see the collection of photos from Father Michael's years at Church of the Advocate. They tell the part of the story that was before my time. In the year I've known Michael and while we were worshiping and sharing meals on Sundays, I noticed in him a serenity and openness, simply content to be present as a faithful member of the gathering. We have also been blessed by the priestly grounding presence that he brought to our gatherings. He served on the Board of Advisors for several years and was truly in every way an advocate for our mission and for all who come to us. May he find in his new call all the challenges and blessings for which God has prepared him!
- Dena B. Whalen (The Rev. Dr.), Vicar, Church of the Advocate
You are invited to add cards of your prayers and well wishes for Fr. Michael in his new Parish home at:
Fr. Michael Roeske, Rector, St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 7308 St. Joe Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Blessings for the Journey In Christ’s love, From the The Red Door Ministry team,
Vicar Dena B. Whalen (The Rev. Dr.), Deacon Timothy M. Ervolina (The Rev.), Brother John Huebner (OSF, Franciscan Missionary Friar)
The Church of the Advocate, Red Door Ministry - Asheville NC