After four years of experiencing and/or enduring my sermons, you may find it difficult to believe that I have been struggling for weeks to find the words to express my deep gratitude to God and to you for the opportunity to serve alongside you in our shared holy calling to follow Christ in the path and ways of love and to share Christ’s love with others.
During the time I have been blessed to be your pastor, I have watched with awe and humility this Body of Christ respond to needs within our church and beyond our church. I have witnessed your ongoing expressions of Christ’s love and grace in prayers, presence, gifts, service, witness, worship, fellowship, study, relationships and our community. My faith has been strengthened, as you have made Christ’s love real in real ways.
I am confident you will embrace your new pastor, Dave Melton, with the same love, grace, and support you embraced me. Dave is known for his many gifts of ministry. I don’t know all of his many gifts but I do know he is blessed musically. Our amazing sound guys will no longer need to mute the pastor during hymn singing! Dave is especially known for his love of Christ and his pastor’s heart for people. A pastor with a love for Christ and a heart for people joining a people with hearts for people seeking to make Christ’s love real – sounds like a “good fit” to me.
Moving is difficult but Kasey and I have learned to say and believe “We never subtract people. We just keep adding.” We will certainly carry you with us for you have made Christ real to us in real ways. I will deeply miss being your pastor but I am grateful I will forever be your sister and friend in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus, I will continue to pray for you:
Since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, this is the reason that I don’t stop giving thanks to God for you when I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the
richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers. This power is conferred by the energy of God’s powerful strength. (Ephesians 1:15-19, CEB)
With gratitude to God for allowing me the holy privilege of being your pastor, Linda