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New assignment for Ogdensburg Episcopal church rector

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St. John’s Episcopal Church Rector The Rev. Robert J.D. Longbottom is leaving for a new assignment, but it isn’t as simple as packing up and taking off.

Rev. Longbottom, 38, and his family will move to a new ministry in St. Cloud, Fla. There, he will serve as rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Peter.

“Father Bob,” as he is known, was the 22nd rector of the 143-year-old, 150-member church when he arrived here in December 2005.

His last Sunday service will be Jan. 27.

It won’t be an easy departure.

“The hardest thing is the people,” Rev. Longbottom said Tuesday. “When you invest in anything, it’s difficult to let go.”

Rev. Longbottom’s tenure at St. John’s has been a busy one, and packed with community activity. He served on several community boards and assisted with many community organizations and events. He served on the board of Seaway Youth For Christ, the Harvest Walk committee for seven years and helped plan many community activities and events - notably including the citywide 10th anniversary commemoration in Library Park of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“A lot of people came to that,” he said.

Rev. Longbottom, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., has also assisted in numerous veterans programs.

Rev. Longbottom’s wife, Aimee, has volunteered and worked with Ogdensburg Command Performances and has served on the board of trustees of the Ogdensburg Public Library.

The Longbottoms have two daughters, Rosalia A. and Penelope B., 18 months. They are expecting a third child in July.

An interim rector will be appointed, and a successor will be selected from a nationwide search by the church’s Diocese of Albany.

“A typical search is nine to 18 months,” Rev. Longbottom said.

St. John’s is planning a going away reception for the Longbottom family on Jan. 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the parish house, located at Knox and Caroline streets.

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