Thank you for a wonderful time on Sunday. I appreciate all that you did for my family on that day. I want to thank Jackie and Hannah for all the attention to detail and for working with Julie and the congregational life committee and all the others that made it a special event.
I know what some are saying, “Hasn’t he left yet? Well it was my last Sunday, but I knew I would have to finish things in the office and this newsletter was one of them. So I wondered what I would say when I thought I had said everything. Then I met two women who came to look at the community garden.
I was setting up the irrigation system when the wife of the minister of the Evangelical Church and a friend (their congregation just bought the Simon Funeral Home), came by. Her husband had told her about the garden and the path that was in their backyard.
She heard that I was retiring and they wanted to know who the next pastor would be and I told them it would be awhile and the church would form a committee to do a mission study before looking for a new pastor.
The older woman said, “I was on one of those committees in my church.” Though the process was long and frustrating she went on to say she thought it was necessary because the needs of the congregation were different than when the former pastor first arrives at a church.
At the retirement party, Walt shared how I read your mission statement before coming to the church and then implementing the things the congregation had considered important for your church. When I wrote in the last newsletter of all the things this church has accomplished in my seven years, it was possible because you had gone through the process of discovering your wants and needs and my skills matched your needs. When a church knows itself it makes it much easier on the new pastor.
As the women in the garden said, the church is completely different now. It was a great way to end my career as a pastor, and I can’t thank all of you enough for your support and encouragement. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me and my family.
You will be in my prayers as you embark on this new adventure.
Newsletter PDF: July 2014 for web