The United Methodist Church of Enfield
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
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June 2018

Thirteen years ago in my first message to you I said this, “Brothers and sisters, I wish I could open my heart and soul to you this morning in one giant sweep so that you would know me.  However, that is not possible, and so today we begin a process of getting to know each other. You need to get to know me, and I need to get to know you, as a congregation, and as individuals.  I think you’ve got the advantage, though.  There’s only one of me for you to get to know, but there are many of you for me to get to know.  You have your traditions, I have mine.  You have your way of doing things and I have mine!  You say tomato, and I say tomahto!  It will take us a little while to get acquainted, but I do want to know what makes you tick, what thrills you, what makes your souls soar!  I really do!  And I want to share that information about me with you.  But even before we get to know one another, I know one thing we have in common… and that one thing is the most important thing in the entire world… that one thing is the love of God.

Thank you for the privilege of being your Pastor for the last thirteen years. I have loved the chance to get to know you and what makes you tick. I have loved working with you to be involved in mission and ministry right here at the church and for the chance to impact our community. I have loved sharing with you the “Good News” about Jesus Christ. Together, we have done some really cool things. Together we have laughed and cried together. We have made some tough decisions together and we have started new ministries together.

Beyond our accomplishments, what means the most to me, what I will take with me into the future, into my retirement, is the gift of the meaningful relationships that have developed over these years. This is what means so very much to me. For me, we are no longer pastor and parishioner but family and friends.

I will always cherish the way we have dreamed together to start new ministry and to have a vision that shares the love of Christ. I will always remember and appreciate the way in which you as a congregation surrounded Candy and me when my sister Ruthie passed away a few years ago. I remember how you supported us during our surgeries, our recoveries, and how we raised money and walked together at “Relay for Life.” In those difficult days, you walked with us and for that, I will be forever grateful.

As we prepare to leave, the United Methodist Church of Enfield is a special congregation. I will look forward to seeing how you continue to grow and reach out in the future. It is my prayer that you never stop dreaming dreams or looking for ways to embrace change. As the writer of Ecclesiastes writes in chapter 3, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” As the living body of Jesus Christ we need to remember that and to do whatever it takes to make disciples for the transformation of the world.  

As Candy and I move into retirement I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to continue to use us in our new setting and life. We want to say thank you so much for the chance to serve with you and to be in partnership with you these last thirteen years. We have loved being here and we are going to miss each and every one of you. Please continue to hold us in your prayers. We will continue to hold you in our prayers. We love you.