Dear Members and Friends of Evangelical,
It is with mixed emotions that lam announcing that I am retiring in July of this year. I am looking forward to the break, but a bit nervous about what retirement looks like. I have been a partner with you for the past 23 and a half years. However, after prayer and discernment, it is time to enter the retirement phase of ministry. (The technicality is not that I am retiring from ministry, but that I am accepting a new call into retirement; a call that must be affirmed by Synod Council).
During our COVID siege, my sense of God’s call was to help guide this congregation through the ups and downs ahead and then take it about a year into a new routine when the disease ended. The end of COVID was not as clear as I thought it might be, but my continued discernment led to the sense that the year out of COVID into a new routine started about last Easter. It is up to someone else to take Evangelical into the new times ahead.
The specific dates are:
- Last worship service: Sunday, July 2
- Last day of office duty or availability: Friday, July 7
- Actual Retirement (using up 2 weeks’ vacation days): Friday, July 21
Until this time, I remain your pastor, but obviously my focus will start to shift from longer term ministry to transition matters.
There is little that needs to be done by the congregation during this time, but it is a time for the members of the congregation to enter into their own time of prayer and discernment of what God’s future for Evangelical will look like. Much has changed in 23 years. The future will be different for both you and for me.
Although the nature of retirement is to look back, it is also the time to consider what God’s next chapter is for the congregation and for me.