“…You have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ…”– Philippians 1:5
These words of Paul to the Philippian church express how I feel about you as I give thanks for the privilege of serving as your pastor for the last twenty-seven years. From the time we came to St. Luke’s, Triss, Holly, and I have felt as though we have been a part of a congregation of folks wanting to “spread the Good News about Christ, serve those in need, and share the victory of Jesus.” We have never felt we were doing those things simply on behalf of the congregation but together as a group who, “by the power of the Holy Spirit, accept the call” to be about God’s work in the world. The Lord has used us mightily for His work. He will continue to do that through you as Triss, Holly, and I end our affiliation with St. Luke’s on December 31st of this year.
At the age of seventy, after forty-three years as an ordained minister, I have decided it is time to retire. As you may know, when a pastor retires, he or she no longer is affiliated with the congregation he or she has served. That means, beginning January 1, 2021 I will not be available for pastoral acts such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings, or funerals. I will also not be available to provide pastoral care in situations of need. An interim pastor will serve the congregation in these ways from the time of my retirement until a new pastor is called. It is vital that a good transition from one pastor to another is made. That is why the retired pastor is expected to refrain from a pastoral presence in his or her former congregation. This will be particularly challenging for us as we have been together for so long in such a loving relationship. It is, however, for the best so that St. Luke’s continues to grow and flourish in God’s work in the world, and that Triss, Holly, and I are able to go forth into the next chapter of our lives. We would still love to share with you in the future, but that needs to be simply as friends.
Triss, Holly, and I will be affiliating with another congregation in the new year. We will be excited to hear how St. Luke’s makes a great transition to a new pastor. Let’s really enjoy these next three months together and keep one another in prayer as we go forward in the Lord’s love.
Spreading, Serving, and Sharing with You,