From Our Pastor...
A Time to Say Goodbye
I don’t think most of us like to say “goodbye.” Goodbyes confront us with the impermanence of our relationships and ultimately, the mortality of our lives.
But there is an end to all things – to plants and trees, to animals and people, to our connections to creation, and to our very selves. The reality of life is that there are ends. Ends are a part of life.
Our relationship began on an August morning almost 21 years ago. By calling me to be your pastor, you invited me and my family to work alongside you in the work of the Kingdom of God. We have known one another for many years, in many situations, and a variety of contexts. Working and living with and among one another allows a familiarity and an intimacy that most vocations never experience. Being a pastor is not a “9-to-5” type of occupation and being a congregation is a living community, not just a workplace. Our interactions are not a mere
event such as when I go to Carr’s to buy food, but a
one where we live together in highs and lows, griefs and celebrations, special days and ordinary ones. It has been good. It has been a joy and honor to be among you as your pastor.
But there is an end to things, even things that bring us joy.
It’s time to say goodbye.
This Sunday, June 30
, will be my last Sunday as your Pastor at Joy Lutheran in Eagle River, Alaska. I will say goodbye to being part of this worshipping community, one where I have served and has served me for twenty-one years. I will say goodbye to you, my Joy family for these years, and I will thank you for all that you have meant to me along the way.
We will say goodbye to one another, but the bonds of our love and fellowship will endure. We begin new journeys: different, separate, and united in the love and grace of Jesus.
I leave you with this prayer found in our hymnal:
“O Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (ELW – Evening Prayer)