Farewell and Thank You for 33 Years

Dear Parish Family,

Thank you so very much for the wonderful send-off you gave us on Saturday, June 13.  We have loved being your pastors for the past 33 years, and we are so deeply appreciative and grateful for the great outpouring of affection we received from you.  Thank you.

I cannot express how much it meant to us to be named Pastor Emeriti.  That is such a great honor, and it links us together with you until the day we are buried in Holy Trinity’s Memorial Garden. All pastors hope for such an honor at the end of their active ministry, but very few receive it.  Words cannot fully express our gratitude, but words are all I have so they will have to do.  Thank you so much.

And thank you for giving us Pastor Mandy’s office computer (after all relevant files had been copied to Deb’s office computer). Thank you for the large financial gift which will enable us to do several things to our house that we have been putting off for too long.  Thank you for the altar flowers. And thank you so much for the video recording of greetings and for the concluding Walk of Love.  You totally surprised us! We have missed seeing you SO much during all these weeks of lockdown. Thank you for coming out to see us off in person.  We completely understand that many of you were too wary of contracting Covid-19 to come to see us off.  But we are forever grateful to those of you who came in person, who made signs, and who even gave us hugs.  Thank you so much.

One of the nicest gifts you gave us, I know you didn’t mean as a gift to us. And it wasn’t – but it was. One of the nicest gifts you gave us was the way that you continued to give financially through the ministries of Holy Trinity, even when the only way we could worship together as a congregation was digitally.  I know this is going to sound much more awkward than I intend it, but the real measure of any pastor’s ministry is not how much the congregation loves the pastor.  The real measure of any pastors’ ministry is how much the congregation loves and is bound to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As St. Paul says so much better than I, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Your generous outpouring in response to God’s love for you kept Holy Trinity going during these dark days of the Coronavirus. And even though that certainly was absolutely not a gift to us, I do thank you.

We have loved you like family for 33 years. And although we must step aside for a time to allow the transition to happen, know that you will continue in our prayers.  We are not changing our phone numbers or e-mail addresses, so you can always reach us.  And on Christmas Eve we will be back.  We look forward to settling in as “regular members” of the congregation.  We want to take our place among you as one of you, sheep of the same Good Shepherd.  We wish you faithfulness, we wish you joy, and we wish you an increased closeness with the God who loves you so dearly.

Always with love,
Pastor Mike and Pastor Mandy

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