Sunday was the last time I would worship with you. I can still envision all of your faces, hear your laughs and your songs, experience still your prayers of blessing. You are a wonderful gift and I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit “plopped” me among you and that you made space for me. Thank you for Sunday and all the days that preceded. You have given me many gifts including the stole, and reception of Sunday. (Wow! You can cook.) Your greatest gift is your willingness to respond “Yes”. Yes, we can come, or build a room, or help someone we don’t know, or have an Epiphany fair, or give a morning a week, or serve the hungry… We can do it together with God’s help. The biggest gift you can give me is to welcome your new pastor with love and prayers. For sure, this pastor will not be like me, or Dr. Liljeberg, or Pastor Larsen, or any of the former pastors. Just as you were unique people to me, you will be unique to her/him. It is very difficult not to contrast or make snap judgments, but I know that you are able to be open and encouraging, make good food, say “yes”, sing loudly, worship faithfully, be generous. I will wear your stole into my new assignment. Your prayers and love will come with me as I meet the new people and listen to their faith stories. The Lord Jesus IS the song of our journey.
JOY to you,