Many of you know by now of my intent to retire in May 2016. When I initially informed the congregation of this decision, I indicated that it has indeed been a difficult one. As a congregation, you have treated me well as your pastor and you have extended overwhelming support to Pat and me.
Even though it is important for me to make this transition in my life at this time, please know that Pat and I will cherish the relationships that we have with you and we hope we can maintain our connection with many of you in the future.
When one embarks upon an important life decision, much reflection and prayer must take place. Such reflection and prayer has allowed me to ponder the numerous things we have done together as a congregation. Over time, one thing blends into another but when I started to put them together in a list form, it was enlightening to me to see the number of things we were able to accomplish. I will not provide an exhaustive list here but I will point out some of the highlights: The continuation of the Green Team as a strategic planning team, the development of a hospitality program for our visitors, the renovation of the bathrooms, the installation of the multi-media system in the sanctuary, the dedication of the Memorial and Peace rose garden, the erection of the playground adjacent to the pavilion, the establishment of the Endowment Fund, the opening of Little Acorns Preschool, the replacement of the boiler with a natural gas heating system, the formation of the Building Bridges program, concerts and talent shows for New Community Project and the Give a Girl a Chance Program, and the installation of a digital sign.
In addition to these accomplishments we have had seminars on leadership development, worship leadership, communication, spirituality, prayer, grief, biblical interpretation, the gospels, peace in the Old Testament, the Psalms, and the book of Revelation.
I share this list not to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done, but to illustrate that we have worked hand in hand together in a good and productive manner. In a sense, we have been doing what a church should do. We have been working together and we have tried to move forward by helping to build God’s kingdom one brick at a time. And we are not done. I have no doubt that more things will come to the surface in our remaining eight months together. We can continue the work of Jesus peacefully and simply but it is best if we do it together.