April 8, 2019
My Dear Friends,
As of September I will have had the privilege and joy of serving Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church alongside you for 30 years. After much thought and prayer, Gail and I believe it is time to begin the next chapter of our lives. So this is an official announcement that my last official day as your Associate Pastor will be January 1, 2020.
God has graciously allowed us to experience countless rewarding and fond memories during our time serving alongside you over the years. Our boys were only 7 and 5 years of age when we moved here, and from our first day, we have felt unlimited support, encouragement and love. I have had the privilege of sharing very meaningful moments with so many of you, including more than 100 weddings, 125 baptisms, and 200 memorial services. I have had the joy of seeing students’ lives changed at 28 Sr. High summer camps (COTS/Wakefest) and countless other Jr. and Sr. High weekly meetings, camps and events, and have experienced transformative times with many of you on mission trips building houses in Mexico or doing relief work after Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricane Harvey. We have enjoyed being a part of so many powerful small groups and all-church campaigns like 40 Days of Purpose. Right now Gail and I are enjoying hosting our 16th ALPHA Course small group in our home.
You have honored and blessed us by calling us here, serving beside us, encouraging and praying for us, and faithfully living as followers of Jesus. You are such an amazing congregation and it has been such a blessing to be one of your pastors. I am continually blown away by your generosity, compassion, and willingness to serve. I can only hope that I have inspired all of you a fraction as much as you have inspired me.
I am only announcing my retirement this far in advance so there will be more than enough time for the Session and congregation to plan on how to hand my pastoral responsibilities on to others. The next nine months will provide a time to say good-bye, to celebrate our years together, and for you to begin the process of moving forward into the future God has for this church family.
I will explain over the coming weeks what it will mean for me to be fully committed to faithfully following our Presbytery’s guidelines of not accepting any invitations to carry out any pastoral duties following my departure for a few years. Because Gail and I will still be living in the community following my retirement, chances are we will still see you around town, and we will enjoy hearing about how you are doing and how God is moving in your life and family. While we will be asking that you help hold us to a standard of not discussing any church business following our departure, we will look forward to hearing how God is at work in your lives and through LFPPC – bringing the love and grace of Jesus to a hurting world. We praise God for bringing us together with you, and we will always hold you in our hearts.
In Christ’s love,