As Beth and I prepare for our departure from Mountain View, please know what you have meant to us. As we have shared the work of ministry, we have listened to each other’s stories, borne one another’s burdens, and held on to God’s love through times both fraught and fruitful. We have experienced the renewal of Mountain View through the A/V upgrade, energy monitoring, external painting, the Great Flood; carpets, contractors and major asbestos removal. We have married, baptized, confessed forgiven and communed in God’s Name. We have joyfully greeted hundreds of new friends, and bid tearful farewells to some of the dearest and best. We became a praying congregation, grew in our love for God, sought out Vitality, and engaged in meaningful Spiritual practices. We have nurtured, trained and sent disciples out into the world to see them productive in fields of service and sacrifice, including a devoted deacon, a loving licensed local pastor and a couple of remarkably committed UM elders. A congregation that accomplishes all that is very special, indeed!
We also have survived elections, paid apportionments, supported missionaries, invested in ministries, sacrificed financially and took risks for our shared vision of Christian ministry. We have embraced the homeless, engaged in significant social action and lovingly welcomed the outcast. We have sought understanding, cussed and discussed minor issues and major social movements. We have dreamt BIG, confronted conflict, made mistakes, sought harmony and agreed to disagree. We have strained to be open and accepting, while holding true to our covenantal relationships, worshipped God in truth, sung the songs of the seasons, and lifted our prayers in faith.
Together, we have breezed through high drama and holy seasons, wept at the things left undone, or done awkwardly, and gloried in our accomplishments as the body of Christ. We have known the solace of Jesus’ teachings, and the high demands of God’s love. Throughout our time in ministry together; at the crib of the newborn, the peace of the sanctuary, or at the grave of a loved one, nothing has been left unsaid, uncommitted, or undone. We have stretched to become sacred community for one another, and this is all that can be asked of us.
In God’s continuing Grace, we will go on to take the next steps in the sacred journey. I wish each of you to know how much you have meant to me and my growth as a minister, a man, and as a Christian. I will continue to pursue the excellence in ministry that we have witnessed here. I will embrace the simple love of Jesus, and share His love with all who share the path. I wish you all the Joy that accompanies a living faith and the best in His service.
Your Brother In Christ,