May 14, 2015
Last night I met with the Session and asked that they dissolve the pastoral relationship between the Roselle church and myself. They have agreed, and the last Sunday that I will be in the pulpit is June 14th. On July 1st, I will begin working as the Director of Congregational Development and Mission for the National Capital Presbytery.
There are a couple of things I need to make sure you understand.
1) I’m not leaving for another church. Frankly, you’ve all spoiled me. I don’t think there will ever BE another church. You’ve laughed and cried with me (and sometimes at me!) and we’ve been through so much change and challenge together. You have been an incredible blessing to me.
2) There is nothing Roselle has done ‘wrong’. (See item #1 above). This isn’t about rate of pay, or housing or my needing a ‘bigger’ position due to my PhD (which, you’ll remember, I don’t actually have. Yet.). This is about the Spirit tickling me and urging me to do different things and in a different place. In the same way, I trust the Spirit is already actively egging on the person who will be YOUR next pastor.
3) Most importantly – your church needs YOU more than ever right now. As I get ready to leave, there are many, many small tasks from printing bulletins to checking the answering machine that others will need to pick up. When Session members ask for help, please consider stepping forward (and don’t wait for them to call you!). This is your church.
4) There’s a process, and a partner. The Committee on Ministry will assign a liaison to work alongside you as you begin the process of Calling your next Pastor. You’re not alone.
5) Finally, our relationship changed from the moment you opened this envelope, or heard the news. Expect that there will be grief, anger, frustration, confusion and the rest as we work through the next few weeks together. These are all appropriate – feel free to express them (I will too!).
Know that I’ve been praying without ceasing for you. Please do the same for me? I’m a jumble of grief and panic but also know that trusting in God’s grace will see us all through.