Saying Goodbye on the Journey of Faith

This Sunday we will read and reflect on Acts 20:17-38 where the apostle Paul stops to say goodbye to the elders of the church in Ephesus when he is on his final voyage to Rome.  Here is a copy of the email I sent out on Tuesday night announcing my retirement.

Dear St Andrew’s members and friends,

I turn 65 in September, and after much deliberation and prayer, I have decided it is time for me to retire after 32 years of ordained ministry. My extended family members: aging parents, ailing dog, patient wife, harried children and growing grandchildren want, and will benefit from, more of my time and attention.  September 25 will be my last Sunday in the pulpit.

 I know that some of you will be sad that I will no longer be your pastor, while others of you are ready for a change. I have spoken to the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry and they will appoint a liaison to work with you in finding new pastoral leadership.  Endings are hard, but they clear the way for new beginnings.  Through it all, our God is faithful.  

 I am grateful to have shared seven years of the journey of faith with you. My time at St Andrew’s has been very meaningful, and I will cherish the memories.

 with love in Christ, Ernie