The writer of Ecclesiastes sure hit a poignant note in Chapter 3 which you could look up and read, or you can search for the Byrd's song "Turn, Turn, Turn," and listen to that lovely folk song in the background as you read these words. The poetic turn of the phrase is that there is a season for everything under heaven.
And for our dear Pastor Jeanne, the time has come for her to conclude her ministry among us. Four years ago, she was a Godsend to our church as she began work here in the midst of Holy Week, and was suddenly up front on Easter morning, helping lead our worship. At that time, she had been planning to take a year off to focus on some family needs, but our Call connected well with her, and so she has served here for four years. But now that family year is beckoning to her, and she is ready to take that necessary time for her and for her family. She needs to wind up her ministry with us by mid-May, and so we're using this week's Pondering to share her news. Yes, I am sad about it because she is and has been a wonderful Pastor for us, and a great co-worker in Christ. Yet I am also grateful for all the ministry she has so generously shared with us.
In discussing these matters, we decided that I would write this intro to you - and then turn the rest of the Pondering over to her so she can address the congregation directly. But do know that we will set up a chance to give our public thank you's to Pastor Jeanne in May. I'll sign off by saying that I know we'll all want to get in line to be able to thank Jeanne for all she's meant to us.
First, let me say, I have loved my time in ministry with you all at Family of Christ! And as hard as it is for me to let go of this pastoral call, after prayerful discernment, I am being called back to the home front. Gregg has added some additional work with MinnPost and even on a part-time basis the needs of the pastoral schedule require more than I can give. And so my sadness is mixed with joy as I want to support Gregg and our family.
I am extremely thankful for the generosity and flexibility of Pastor Josh and the church council in trying to make a part-time schedule work. I have so enjoyed working with my fellow pastors and the wonderful staff and have really treasured walking with you all, the congregation of Family of Christ. As I journey on to this next chapter, I welcome your prayers, questions and conversation.
Family of Christ is a Christ-centered, vibrant, energetic, faith-filled, serving church and it has really been a joy for me to be a part of it! There are so many wonderful gifts here and I know FoC will continue to be a community building place that welcomes all people. I truly trust that God will bring just the right pastoral fit for Family of Christ. "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1 As the beauty of spring is just around the corner, God will continue to grow and flourish with, in and through you in this new season at Family of Christ.
Your partner in Christ,