Last August, when I announced my retirement plans, the timeline between the decision and the actual finishing seemed very long. Since then, we have welcomed full-time Youth Director, Charles Sandusky, consecrated the renovated Sanctuary building, conducted a successful capital campaign, celebrated Advent and Christmas, and entered a new year. Now the time is short.
I will preach for one more Sunday (January 21
, and later that week fly to Whitefish, Montana for our annual ski vacation. After we return February 7
, we will pack, say goodbye at the February 18
retirement reception, and then move to DeLand.
One of the conversations last summer was with Rev. Jay Therrell, the District Superintendent, so that he and the Bishop could be planning for both the long-term pastoral appointment and for an interim senior pastor. I am excited they have chosen the Rev. Riley Short to serve in that interim capacity. He is a respected and beloved retired pastor in the Florida Annual Conference, with much pastoral experience in large churches and as an interim. He has been to Fernandina Beach several times to begin meeting with leaders. He will be back again next week to spend a day getting acquainted with the staff, the worship planning team, and some key lay leaders. He will begin full-time on February 1
, and serve until late June, when the next senior pastor will arrive.
I am grateful for our connectional system that provides for effective leadership in a season of pastoral transition. And I am very grateful to have been part of Memorial’s life together with you. We have indeed grown in grace and served God’s purposes.
I trust that the next chapters will continue to be grace-filled and fruitful.
Save the Date:
Beth’s Retirement Reception
, 2:00PM, in Maxwell Hall