The Rev. Stuart Kenworthy has been rector of Christ Church, Georgetown for 23 years, but will retire on All Saints Sunday, November 2, 2014. When he announced his retirement in late January, the wardens and vestry asked if he had any thoughts about how he would like to have his ministry honored by the parish as he prepared to depart. The answer came quickly. He wanted a brief fundraising drive to benefit the Bishop Walker School for Boys (BWS) in southeast Washington. The parish had already committed $60,000 per year for five years to the school beginning in 2014. Soon the vestry wardens sent a letter to the entire parish and the gifts began to come in over the next three months.
On Sunday, September 21, Fr. Kenworthy and Mr. James Woody, Executive Director of the BWS, both addressed the congregation and spoke of the dream and reality of the Bishop Walker School. Then the presentation of the gift was made to Mrs. Maria Walker, wife of the late Bishop John T. Walker, who died 25 years ago.
Thanking the parish for their great generosity to the school and for believing in and securing the future of the BWS, Fr. Kenworthy gave Mrs. Walker a check, announcing the total gift of $255,000. There was gasp, a stunned silence, and then applause. It was an extraordinary moment.
“We encounter the Good News of Jesus Christ in many places and ways, in breaking open the sacred scriptures, in the breaking of the bread at the Lord’s table, in community, and in places like the Bishop Walker School where 86 young lives (and their families) are being transformed in this moment, and on a long arc into the future. When I visit the Bishop Walker School I see manifested God’s justice and compassion all at once. I see miracles realized, and received with great thanksgiving,” said Fr. Kenworthy.