I mentioned in the sermon yesterday that I witnessed love demonstrated at a school the other night. I couldn’t begin to list when I’ve witnessed love in our church community because the sermon would never have ended. Yesterday afternoon’s celebration was yet another example of Central expressing love well. I struggle to find the words to express our appreciation. Sally, Mac, Annagray, and I are (once again) overwhelmed by your love and support.
I do want to clarify a few things – first, you’re not done with us yet. We have three more Sundays together. June 9th is our final Sunday at Central. Rev. Thomas Smith’s first Sunday will be June 30th. Central’s celebrations continue both of those dates, with Rev. Meg Jiunnies’ ordination celebration scheduled for June 9th from 3-5 PM and the welcome event for the Smiths scheduled for June 30th from 3-5 PM. More good times to come!
As I tried to say yesterday afternoon, we’re in a period of both/and. We’re sad to be leaving such a loving, thriving church family and we’re excited to be joining a new one. We’re grateful for what God has done in the years we’ve shared and hopeful about what is ahead for Central, Belin, the Smiths, and the Malambris.
It struck me the other day how extraordinarily blessed we have been to have 2 stints on the pastoral staff at Central (only one other person served as an Associate and returned as a Senior Pastor) and fifteen years with this amazing congregation (in combined years, that’s the most anyone has been fortunate to have served as a pastor here). I looked around the sanctuary and thought of the people who fill this place and was reminded, “It’s good to share.” I’m glad Thomas Smith and his family will get to experience what the clergy and staff of this church have enjoyed over the years. I’ll both miss it terribly and celebrate those who continue to enjoy it.
What we’ll miss most are the many ways this church family demonstrates a commitment to fulfill Jesus’ command to love one another. You’ve loved us well and you’ll continue to love all who God leads into your midst.
With more appreciation than we can express, thank you.