Goodbye Greetings. How is that for an oxymoronic opening? This is my last week at Fairview UMC and it reminds of a fairly common funeral situation. How do you commend and celebrate (and grieve) several years when the focus is still on current events and prior months, a spell of hard decisions, rapid changes, and wide a variety of emotions?
As my last official Fairview Weekly email, simple will probably be best.
I am remembering with joy. (not in order of importance)
- a new three year old twirling in front of a communion table
- an assortment of mission adventures-cleaning the park, Renaissance, Serve, local road clean up (poor Scott Blvd could use us now),
- Loaves and Fishes (from the tiny kitchen to now)
- Room at the Inn these last two years.
- five incarnations of Little Bethlehem
- singing in the choir
- studies and flames
- Five years of watching a group of children and youth evolve and grow.
- The wide variety of people (animals) that consider Fairview a place in their life:
(As pastor I did have contact with most folks that lurk around, use, and love Fairview)
- worshipping with you, from regulars to transients, past and present
- the things we got repaired, improved, or sold.
- the laughter, love, and sharing the heart ache of life.
- I hope you add something joyful here.
I ask forgiveness for my mistakes, missteps, and mayhem. No need to itemize. I am grateful for the faithfulness witnessed, the grace experienced, the new things learned.
Thank you for all the ways you showed up in these past five years. Thank you for all the ways you supported Fairview. I commend and ask your prayers for the leaders who showed up most every month, and the visitors who were always welcomed, who sat in the Leadership Council, it has not been easy.
Our bible study this Wednesday morning is in Judges, the story of Samson (check it out, Judges 13-16, he is a mess.) Oddly enough, or something, I just heard a sermon about Samson at annual conference. Lynn Dyke, our previous District Superintendent, talked about the honey inside the lion carcass, the sweetness that can even come from difficult times and experiences. Another redemptive story waiting for us in a most unlikely place and that is the way God seems to work, redemption beyond expectation.
On that note I say goodbye, effective next week. I know you will welcome Rev Sandy Schaller and do all in your power to support the continued mission and ministry of Fairview. God will be with you. My appointment to Midway-Locus Grove UMC means I will not be relocating to another community, a first for me to go to a new church without moving a household. This means I am more likely to run into members of my former church around town at which time I will look forward to greeting you as friend and not pastor. I trust God will be with you, in your heart, in your home, and in your church community.
Kind and generous blessings, Kate