St. Luke's, Rosmoor returns to its roots at St. Paul's, Walnut Creek

The Rev. Canon Abbott Bailey, our Canon to the Ordinary, celebrated mass at Walnut Creek on Sunday, February 24 to formally welcome the community of St. Luke’s, Rossmoor into St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek. The service included a renewal of baptismal vows with the members of St. Luke's around the baptismal font.

Well, in a sense, it was really “welcome back.” St. Luke’s was originally a mission of St. Paul’s formed in 1966 to serve the Rossmoor community. St. Luke's became a parish during the Rev. Gary Ost's 25-year ministry; Ost retired in 2007. The congregation celebrated Eucharist and shared Bible study in the community rooms in Rossmoor.

St. Luke’s was the spirit of the Episcopal Church in Rossmoor, ministering to the spiritual needs of this active retirement community of 9,200 in Walnut Creek. Blessings of marriage and celebration of lives, as well as other sacraments were performed by St. Luke’s clergy. This past year, with guidance from their interim vicar, the Rev. Coryl Lassen, they made the tough decision to close their doors.

Said Bishop Marc Andrus, “St Luke’s, Rossmoor has had creative, pastoral, and loving clergy leadership over the years, and I have been blessed to visit them as their bishop. Also, I’ve always found the parishioners to be full of good humor, dedication, and wisdom. It is a moment now to honor St Luke’s faithful life of ministry, representing Christ in the Episcopal mode, in the Rossmoor community.”

Over the summer, St. Paul’s welcomed much of the community of St. Luke’s to both its 7:30 and 9:30 worship services, and to all its ministries and activities.

“We are so very pleased to welcome them with all their wisdom, faith and talents as we share together in our new adventure,” said the Rev. Krista Fregoso, Rector at St. Paul’s.

Over the years, connections remained between St. Luke’s and St. Paul’s. For ten years the Rev. Anne Cox Bailey was the rector at St. Luke’s, until her retirement in 2017; she had been a seminarian at St. Paul’s. And long-time St. Paul’s member Hugh Harvey often participated in services and Bible study at St. Luke’s.

“I am honored that the St. Luke’s community has chosen St. Paul’s to make their new home. We are thrilled to rejoin with them again,” said Fregoso.

Bishop Andrus agreed that St. Luke’s parishioners can expect a warm and gracious welcome at St. Paul’s.  

“The St. Luke’s folks will strengthen and enrich St. Paul’s and will in turn be similarly blessed in their new home,” he added.