It is early morning, my favorite time of the day. I am looking at the Moulthrop bowl that Central gave the Charles family on Sunday and my mind is in a rush of thoughts and a myriad of emotions.
I thank God for the privilege that I have had to serve as pastor for the past twelve years. For those times I have served God and you with “energy, intelligence, imagination, and love,” I give thanks. For those times that I have fallen short on living up to that vow, I ask forgiveness from God, from you, and for those who will follow me as Head of Staff. Forgiveness is a spiritual gift worth cultivating in all walks of life.
I thank God for the marvelous send-off party at the home of Lawrence and Kathy Ashe and for the unforgettable last Sunday, marked by the gift of the most beautiful bowl I have ever seen and by the appearance of the incredible Barbara Tucker surprising me and challenging each of us to pray that God will “Order My Steps.” Jennell and I were moved to tears on Sunday afternoon as we read your cards and notes of appreciation for our ministry with you. Those words will long live in our hearts. For all involved in the sending off festivities: THANK YOU!
I thank God for Steve Bacon, your new Head of Staff until the Interim is chosen and arrives. Steve was Head of Staff when I arrived, so it seems only fitting that he resumes that role. In the time in between, he has been my colleague as Coordinator of the Pastoral Residency Program, and even more, he has been a loyal and constant friend. My heart sings to leave you with Steve serving in this capacity. Even as you love and support Steve, love and support the colleagues I leave behind and an outstanding Session that is fully engaged to serve this congregation in the transition ahead.
I thank God, as I said on Sunday, that the “best days” await Central and I look forward to reading and hearing about them. God has given this community of faith an embarrassment of riches and I charge you to use them to the glory of God.
Grace and peace,
If you would like to get in touch with Gary, please direct your emails to his new address: firstname.lastname@example.org