As Myra and I prepare to say goodbye to you as your pastor, we also say goodbye as your friends. With each appointment there are lasting relationships forged, and we are grateful for each and every one of them. Even though pastors are told that we are not here to be your friends, but to be your pastor, it is hard not to make friends as we become part of your family. We have laughed and cried together, served together, agreed on some things and disagreed on others. <!–split–>
We are also grateful for the many blessings we have received from God through each of you. We never know how or when we are going to affect someone’s life, but God opens the door to make blessings happen.
As we pack and get things in order to make the move, I am reminded of Abraham and Sarah when God called them to go to Canaan. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. So Abraham went as the Lord had told him: and Lot went with him. Abraham was 75 years old when he departed from Haran. Abraham took his wife Sarah and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered and the persons they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go the land of Canaan.” Genesis 12:1, 4-5.
They didn’t have the modern conveniences that we have today to make their move possible, such as a moving company. It was done on foot with donkeys and other pack animals. They also didn’t have a lot of the material possessions that we have amassed over the years. I’m sure they didn’t have a cabinet full of Tupperware, dining room furniture with a hutch full of china, and they definitely didn’t have totes of seasonal decorations. Their life was simplified compared to the life we live today.
But the one thing that we can always count on is God’s constant love and abiding care to help us, whoever and wherever we are. As we submit to God’s will, being faithful and obedient servants, God will bless us on our journey. God will bless us as we venture to Norris City and God will bless Bethel Wesley as you journey forward under the leadership of a new pastor.
Many people will pass through your life and through the doors of the church. We welcome each opportunity s a blessing from God. As we move forward, we continue to keep each of you in our prayers as God’s blessing abound.
See you Sunday, if not before.