14 Jul With Gratitude: Companions for a Decade
Thank you for the lovely flowers, card, chocolate cake and many words of
congratulations and well wishes last Sunday for my tenth anniversary. It is rather hard
to fathom that a decade has passed since I arrived at Calvary—until, that is, I reflect on
how much we have shared over these years. We’ve baptized babies and children and
adults, just as we did Sunday. We have said hello to dozens of new members and
goodbye to those whose work or family or retirement took them elsewhere. We’ve said
final goodbyes to saints who have joined the Church Triumphant. We’ve celebrated and
laughed and cried tears of joy. We’ve consumed an amount of chocolate that shall not
be named aloud. We’ve survived a pandemic. We have eaten at the Lord’s Table about
150 times, heard well over 500 sermons, and sung at least three times that many hymns
as we worshiped together week-in, week-out. We’ve prayed together at hospital beds, in
small groups, over gravesides, in homes, and in Sunday services. We’ve tutored
students, given thousands of pounds of food to local food pantries, supported missions
in developing countries, packed hygiene kits, and picked up trash. We have marked the
rhythms of the church’s year and of our lives.
There have been some difficulties, to be sure. Some lean times, some discouraging days,
times when we’ve had more questions than answers. But we have persevered first and
foremost, because God is faithful, and second, because we have done it together.
Marking a decade of ministry at Calvary is possible only because of you—your love of
God and of one another, your patience and tenacity, your generosity of spirit and
resources, your commitment to follow Jesus Christ in community with those who
nurture and accompany you on your path. As family, we give that to one another, and I
am profoundly blessed to be part of it.
Thank you for opening your hearts and lives to me over the past ten years. It has been
an honor and a privilege, one that I do not take lightly or take for granted. I have no
idea what the future holds, but I look forward to seeing where the journey takes us. I
couldn’t ask for better traveling companions.
Yours for the Kingdom,