To My Winstanley Family:
You hear it from me often. “I am grateful to be your pastor.” You are my people and I love you.
I love your stories, your laughter over meals shared, your obedient service to Christ, your compassionate ministering. I love how you make up after squabbling. I love watching you grow in love for Jesus. I love your praise, your music-making, and your worship. I love mis-sion tripping with you. I love to hear you pray.
I love when you place your newborns in my arms. I love welcoming you into the baptismal waters. I love that when you grieve, you let me share the weight of your pain.
Indeed, I am grateful that seventeen years ago God called me to be your pastor. Today, just as clearly, I hear Him calling me to a new and exciting chapter which will open a new and exciting chapter for you, as well.
My final day as your pastor will be December 31. Dawn and I will begin retirement by doing some heavy-duty downsizing. Then, sometime in 2018, we will move to Indianapolis to live near Dawn’s sister Peggy, our niece Elizabeth, and our niece and her husband, Andrea and Adam.
(But don’t worry about this; our grandson Hank will be here for Christmas and you will get to meet him before we leave.)
This I promise you. I will always love and pray for you, and I will remain eternally grateful to have been your pastor.