October 1, 2018
We are at the beginning of what I hope will be a great renewal for Christ Church. When I came here 14 years ago, the plan was to “Restart” the parish.
I believe we’ve reached a point with tremendous opportunities and some real challenges facing us. Over the last two years we’ve found ourselves trying to keep an aging facility functional. We face the challenges of reviving current ministries. And we have the opportunity of starting new ministries and outreach as we move forward into the future God is preparing for us.
We need to Restart our Restart! To accomplish this, I am asking you to sacrifice your time and attention to attend one of our focus groups. The presentations are 30 minutes long with a chance for questions and comments afterward. We have the following opportunities available. All are in the Parish Hall, except for October 11th.
October 3rd – Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
October 5th – Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
October 7 th – Sunday at 12:15 p.m. (During the Parish Luncheon)
October 9 th – Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
October 11 th – Thursday at 6:00 p.m. (In the Church)
Our parish is not made of bricks, but people. Your hopes and dreams for Christ Church matter. Each member of Christ’s body, the baby born a few weeks ago, and oldest person among us, is an irreplaceable treasure. We need your ideas, your vision, and your energy.
Sunday morning, September 15th, as I was driving into church, I realized it would be the start of my 15th year at Christ Church. That morning I jokingly said, “I want a Quinceanera next year in September”.
To be honest, 14 years ago I was reluctant and afraid to come to Laredo. Christ Church was deep in debt, attendance was poor, and the diocese was not sure things would turn around even with the help they hoped to provide.
Bishop Folts and others assured me that the worst that could happen was that the “Restart” process would fail. And he encouraged me to have faith that with God’s help, this faithful parish would revive.
Fourteen years later, I am grateful for the faith and vision of the Bishop and Christ Church. We have come a long way since September of 2004. I treasure the faith, the determination, and the love of the people of this parish and hope you do too.
When I go to the City Cemetery I sometimes stop at the graves of the Reverend A.J. Ward and the Reverend Charles Cook, two previous rectors, long gone. I wonder about the work and sacrifices they made to grow, lead, and guide this congregation for many decades. I hope when my time comes, I leave a legacy of a growing, faithful, healing Church family that loves God and neighbor with heart, soul, and mind.
Again, please make plans and attend one of our focus groups. If you have questions, you may call me at 956.285.2753 and I promise to get back to you as soon as possible.
Much love in Christ,
Reverend Paul A. Frey
Paul Frey, Rector of Christ Church, Laredo, Texas since October of 2004 is married Anne Rooney of Portland, Oregon. They met at Church of the Redeemer, Houston, Texas in 1977. Anne works for the Sponsored Research Office at Texas A & M International (TAMIU). They have two adult children, Colin, in Portland, Oregon, and Suzanna, in San Antonio, Texas.
Prior to moving to Laredo, he and Anne served at Church of the Redeemer in Eagle Pass, Texas from 1998 to 2004. From 1992 to 1998 he oversaw Christian Education and Youth Ministry at Truro Church, in Fairfax, Virginia. From 1989 to 1992 he studied for his master of divinity degree at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.
Prior to seminary, he worked for six years with homeless people as Assistant Director of St. Francis Center, a day center in Denver, Colorado which still serves 500 to 600 homeless people a day. He has also worked as a construction worker, a contractor, a salesperson, and church based neighborhood social worker.
His college work was done at various places beginning at Red Rocks Community College, the University of Houston, graduating from Loretto Heights College with course sharing assistance from the University of Colorado at Denver and Metro State University. (He highly recommends going to college prior to starting full time work!)
In Laredo, Paul served for more than 3 years as president of the board of the Casa Misericordia Domestic Violence Shelter, and remains on the board. He is a member of the Laredo Daybreak Rotary Club, and as a voting member of the Laredo Independent School District School Health Advisory Committee. He volunteers with Tennis for the Blind.
In the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas he’s served as Dean and as Chaplain at Camp Capers, numerous times, Mustang Island Chaplain, and has been a member of the Executive Board of the Diocese, the Board of Trustees of TMI - The Episcopal School of Texas, the Evangelism Committee, and served several times Dean of the Western Convocation in the Diocese of West Texas.
Paul is a science fiction fan, a Denver Broncos fan, a San Antonio Spurs fan, a movie buff, fond of dogs and most other animals, and enjoys fishing, paddleboarding, sailing, snorkeling and almost any other event that gets him outside.
As a child he spent his formative years in San Jose, Costa Rica, as part of the Episcopal Church there, going to school at the Country Day School, and Guatemala City, Guatemala. He studied at Colegio Americano de Guatemala. From his missionary parents, he developed a heart for mission work and missionaries. He's been privileged to serve on mission teams to Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, various places in Mexico, as well as domestic short term missions.