TO REV. RICK
In all the years you've walked with us, in all the years we've walked with you,
Much Joy and Life, stress, strain and fuss have traveled the Journey with us too.
You've touched our families, been touched by them.
We've pulled together through Peace, mayhem,
Through hurricanes, snowstorms, Falls, Winters, Springs, Summers,
Through high points and low points, successes and bummers.
You've spiced up our Worship with New Song and ukes.
You've weathered the critics, the praises, rebukes
That often accompany being a Pastor,
Along with Death vigils that touch the Hereafter.
You've celebrated our weddings, our funerals, and such,
Our baptisms, confirmations, without losing touch
With all that's important, all that is real--
To love one another in God, and share how we feel.
You've given opinions and judgments, advice.
You've set down some guidelines and ofttimes, thought twice
When faced with decisions that would daunt the weak.
You've gathered among us, empowered us to seek
The best that is in us, in others as well.
Why Rev, you've sung Barbershop, Choir, played Bells!
Cavorted with our children at each VBS.
You've shepherded our troubled souls, heavy laden with stress.
You've visited our people in health centers, when
You also serenaded them with your mandolin.
You've woven much Music into our Worship Tapestry,
At picnics, Apple Festivals, and in our Community.
You've gone with us too on many Mission trips
To build homes and lives for those, who felt like a "blip
On the screen" of their lives, tattered and torn.
Because you built with them, they, WE were reborn.
You've met with the leaders of different faiths,
Who make up Mt. Olive, and created space
Whether out in our Pavilion or some new "elsewhere,"
To gather, break bread, and share our stories there.
From Dorney Park, to Weight Watchers, Bushkill Falls to Jersey Shore,
You've opened up your heart and soul to much more,
To learning and growing, to falling sometimes,
But to get back up to continue the Rhyme
Of Life lived in Jesus, joined with us each day
To craft, co-create this new Take-away
Into a New Chapter for us and for you,
To help one another to see our dreams thru.
Oh yes, Our Dear Friend, to us you're a Blessing,
Beginning to end, so don't you go stressing!
Through this wild pandemic that threw us a curve
And separated our UPC, You mustered the nerve
To lead us, to guide us in new ways of Worship,
While lockdowns and "social distancing" splintered our kinship,
But brought us together in "techie" new ways,
Pulling us all to a brand new day
That dawns for us once again, after you leave,
Re-stoking the fires of how we believe
And trust in Christ Jesus to lead us anew
To a Pastor, he or she, a "spark", just like You!
While you and Jo travel to New Life, New Dawn,
You'll live in our hearts as we carry on
The dreams, visions in God, of our "UPC Crew",
Enlivened in Christ and encouraged by You!