01 Nov Riding the Wave
I thought that the October Oakleaves would be my last, but since November Oakleaves is put together late in October, I will give one last communication here.
As I have said, Rosanne and I are filled up by your celebrations and thoughtful and sensitive communications in our final weeks with you. It has been a powerful month for us. Thank you!
I have moved a lot in my life. My twenty-four years here are far and away the most that I have ever spent in one place. My first emotional move came when I was in the sixth grade. It was February and we were moving from Memphis, Tennessee to Colonial Heights, Virginia. During school, the movers had finished packing our house. Mom picked us up from school and drove to a friend’s house for a brief visit before we headed off to a hotel, from which we would proceed to Virginia in the morning. As we finally got into the car and drove away, my friends got on their bikes and rode behind us for awhile until we disappeared from sight—all of us waving as we went.
Good-byes are hard and awkward. Leaving a social gathering can take almost as long as the gathering itself. You have made this good-bye more graceful than I could have imagined. Again, thank you!
I imagine there will be tears my last Sunday. I was getting teary just reading through the bulletin for my last Sunday and seeing the music which will be shared. I will not emerge unscathed.
But the openness of the heart is essential to any spiritual work. I am not embarrassed by tears. They reveal the heart’s depths. They put us in touch with the reality of God’s love, which is our true home, from which we never depart no matter where and how often we move or not.
I promise to pray for you in my retirement, even as I embrace the necessary boundaries of a dissolved pastoral relationship. A new pastor and a new sense of calling will come to you, and together you will discern the future for the church. So, let’s ride the waves of our good-byes, and know that God is offering us tremendous gifts as we move into the unknown. The best is yet to be! Blessings, friends!