As I write these words, there is a chill in the air that tells me we are nearing winter. And all of sudden, it’s hitting me that I’m nearing the “winter” of my time with you as your minister.
Winter is an important season. A necessary season. It is nature’s time for resting, retiring, renewing, recuperating, re-sourcing, and re-assessing. Just as there are seasons in nature, there are seasons of the heart as well. And your heart and mine are preparing for change. And we’re going to go through this season, this change together. Changes like this are as natural as the ebb and flow of the tide, the rising and setting of the sun, and the coming and going of ministers in a church.
Soon, it will be my time to step down as your minister and give way to that one who will take you and this church to the next level.
It has been my great joy and honor to have served you for two seasons. First, for eight years back in the 70’s and 80’s, and now, for another four plus years. These have been the most rewarding and memorable years in a career that has lasted more than 50 years.
I will deeply miss our Sunday mornings together, our conversations, our times of laughter and times of tears. Oh, I plan to stick around and help out in any way that supports our new minister. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll still be a part of this amazing community in the months ahead and share this new phase of the journey with you. But it won’t be the same.
As I think about it, there’s clearly emptiness inside. Still, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. It’s all in Divine Order, just as all the seasons of the heart have always been.
You and I know that winter always leads to summer. It always leads to new growth, new adventures, and new horizons. That’s what we’re all looking forward to isn’t it?
So, I’ll leave you with these words from a favorite John Denver song of mine, called “Seasons Of The Heart”: Love is why I came here in the first place, love is now the reason I must go. Love is all I ever hoped to find here, love is still the only dream I know.
Aloha, dear friends!