Well, the time has come to say good-bye. These are my last seven days at Shepherd. Although I've been looking forward to this ending, I feel some sadness now that it's here. I've grown to know and love many good folks at SOV. I will miss those relationships. I will miss the genuine care you have for one another, even in the midst of occasional disputes. For all that is good and hopeful at SOV, I give thanks to God. My prayer for you all is that you open yourselves to hope, to blessing, to growing and changing and thriving. It's there waiting for you. I feel some regret that I won't be with you to witness the flowering I expect to come to SOV. Thank you for the journey we've had together.
I also want to say thanks to a few folks who have been especially significant partners in ministry. First, gratitude to the Executive Committee. Overall, this has been the most effective Executive group I've ever had the pleasure of working with. These folks, led by President Linnea Harmon, have been unified in a good, encouraging spirit. They have devoted considerable competence to the good of the congregation and have unfailingly provided wise counsel. Much the same could be said for the two other Executive Committees that preceded this one. As a whole, they have my admiration and gratitude. I hope all of you will also express your appreciation to them for their ministry.
I also want to say special thanks to Director of Music Jon Quesenberry. Jon has been the best partner in ministry I could have hoped for. He has given generously of his great talent, good will, and gentle spirit. His ministry of music has given me comfort, inspiration, and many smiles of joy. God bless you, Jon, in the creative work you are called to do in this world. SOV, you are blessed to have such a good and talented person in charge of the music program. God bless you all in worship together!
I would thank many more of you but for brevity's sake I'll turn to practical matters. First: once I'm done, I'm done. It is important that I hand over this ministry totally to Pastor Tom Hiller. After January 31, I will not perform pastoral acts for Shepherd of the Valley. Contact Pastor Tom instead. You probably will not see me again at SOV. Saying good-bye to me means saying hello to another pastor, forming bonds and deepening a relationship with Pastor Tom and then with whoever follows as your regularly called pastor. I will monitor my SOV email address during February but will redirect messages to whomever should receive them. After that, I'll check the address irregularly and won't respond unless there's a compelling need. That doesn't mean I don't love you; but now the duty of love is for me to direct you to Pastor Tom and to support him in his ministry at SOV.
This Sunday, January 29, is my last at SOV. There will be one worship service at 10:00. After that we'll have a congregational meeting to discuss the 2017 budget. Finally there will be a farewell luncheon to bid me adieu. I hope you'll be there for all of it. It would be a great gift to have the whole community gathered to say farewell. See you Sunday. God bless us, every one.
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Lessons for Sunday, January 29, 2017
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Wednesday 9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/Chapel
10:00 am Bible Study
Thursday 9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
12:00 pm All Church Luncheon
Friday 9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool
Saturday 9:30 - 11:30 am SOV Choir Rehearsal
All Church Luncheon
Thursday, January 26th
All are invited to join in food and fellowship
No RSVP needed and nothing to bring!
Sunday School notice
Due to there only being one worship service at 10 am, Sunday School is cancelled January 29th.