Grace and Peace to you all,
I am writing this to let you all know that I have decided to retire at the end of this year 2020. My last Sunday will be December 27, 2020. For the last year or so I’ve watched seminary classmates announce their retirements one after another. It is time for me to move on to the next phase of my life’s journey and for Faith UCC to move on to its next phase as well, trusting that we are all in God’s hands.
It has been my great honor and a true blessing to serve Faith UCC for what will be 15 years. I have served four churches since graduating from seminary and Faith UCC has been by far the best of the four.
In the last 15 years Faith UCC has been a faithful, progressive witness here in New Braunfels. As I look back there are so many highlights. Here are just a few. Voting to become ONA and the choir singing twice at the SA Pride event were milestones in the life of this church… In the area of mission and outreach: giving away our Christmas offerings to a whole series of mission projects near and far; starting LEAP; our continuing work at the SOS Food Bank and being a host church for Family Promise. In the area of building and grounds we refurbished the fellowship hall and narthex and installed the computer projector and updated AV. Developing the vision statement and becoming a more diverse congregation. Marching in the local MLK march and other witness events. Then there are all the confirmation classes, adult study programs during Lent and the recent class on Buddhism & Hinduism. We have shared many deeply moving worship experiences in the over 725 services that I have been here for. We’ve often sensed the movement of the Spirit in these. We have shared much in worship, mission and fellowship and I cherish all our time together.
As the church moves forward it will be a time for discernment and prayer about the future of the church. As with any change there will be some anxiety and sadness, but I pray that there will also be a sense of excitement and hopefulness about what God has in store for Faith Church. Faith Church has gone through such times of transition numerous times since it was founded in 1966. As in the past, with God’s help, it will do so again. It has always come through such times stronger and with a renewed sense of purpose. It has gone on to do God’s work here in New Braunfels and beyond in new and creative ways.
Know that you most certainly will have my prayers for you individually and for Faith Church as a whole. I would invite your prayers for me as well as I transition to retirement. I am mindful of Paul’s words to the Philippians… “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:3-6)
Grace and Peace,
Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org