It's hard to believe, but this month will mark end of my second year with all of you and the beginning of the third. I realize that you who are older will likely scoff at a whippersnapper like me saying this, but seriously, where did all that time go?! It feels like only yesterday that my knees were shaking underneath my robe as I delivered that first sermon on Joseph's commissioning by Pharaoh in Genesis.
In any timeframe that we measure in years rather than days, weeks, or months, there will be some ups and some downs, but, I truly believe that our ups have far outnumbered our downs. You have allowed me to teach you, pray with you, counsel you, and lead you forward; and, know that this has not been a privilege that I have taken lightly. I continue to give thanks to God every day that God--through you--has called me here to be your pastor; and, I feel as blessed to be here today as I did on Day One!
But, our work together is also far from done. We are not out of the woods yet. We must continue striving to live out our "Big Faith for a Promising Future" motto. There remains great need in our community--not only materially, for mission and outreach, but also spiritually, for the Good News that God loves all and calls all to a relationship with Him. And, as we grow stronger as a church, we also become better poised to rise to help meet those needs.
As we look to meet those needs, we do so while also paying honor to the past. This summer saw the passing of two stalwarts of our congregation: Berniece Hill and Dean Bridge. Their families have thanked me for all of your prayers and well wishes, and I pass that thanks on to you, knowing that this church has served as a loving community to us all for over 80 years, and, God willing, will continue to do so for many, many years more.
Yours in Christ,