Dee and I are thankful beyond measure for the wonderful and very moving celebration held on my last Sunday as your Senior Pastor. What you may have missed was the moment we opened the gift from the congregation to help us do some traveling. We both burst into tears, stunned by your generosity, and so deeply touched by your love.
I praise God for the many close and loving relationships I’ve had with so many of you in the church. I’m also conscious of those not-so-good relationships. Perhaps those relationships have suffered because of mistakes I made or because I had a style that simply didn’t “work” for you. To you I say, come home. If I have been a stumbling block for you, then it’s time now for you to come home to your church, a place and community that outlasts its leaders and transcends their failings.
It’s tempting to use my last communication to offer you all some words of advice as you face the future. As one familiar with Shakespeare’s Hamlet, however, the image of Polonius prattling on in well-meaning tedium to his children Laertes and Ophelia springs to mind and cautions me against such windy exercise. The truth is that I am no longer a part of this church’s future. That future is for you and your Pastors and leaders to discern and for all of you to discover. I hope you understand that the church will need you more than ever during this time of transition.
As I say good-bye to you as your Senior Pastor, please know that we will still be friends with a bond of love that isn’t broken by time or distance because it has been forged by God. May God’s name be praised for this blessing. It is the blessing I cherish beyond all others bestowed on me in our fifteen years together.
Your friend and fellow person of faith,
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