Today was my last Sunday in the pulpit as the pastor in charge of a local United Methodist Church. I may preach in a United Methodist Church again, but I will never be the pastor in charge. I have approached this day with mixed emotions, and have them still.
You made the day much easier for me with your laughs, with the children’s time being so exciting and good. The hard part was the music… the music is always good… today it was extra special – especially with having that old guy from Hickory joining the choir.
Certainly the piece of music and the signatures made that extra special. I have sought to be faithful and have some times succeeded. But for you to understand that my motivation was for all of us to be faithful is deeply touching. I will find a special place in my study to display “Keepers of The Faith.” It will be a place where it will constantly remind me of you… and that will make me remember how lucky I am to have served with you.
I want to thank those people who traveled from other churches and places to be here to share in this last Sunday. You will never know how much that special effort touched us. Thank all of you for allowing us to enter your home, life, heart and spirit. Thank you for allowing us to be the ones you called when you needed a word of encouragement. Thank you for forgiving me when I failed you and for continuing to be my friend and part of my family.
God’s speed to all of you as you move into and through this transition. Know that God is walking with you and holding you very close as you take these steps. Seize all that God has in store for you and God will richly bless this church.
I will miss you. I thank God for you. I will never forget you.
Grace and Peace