My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all that we did last weekend to create a soft landing for the end of my ministry at ERUUF.
The party on Saturday night was spectacularly joyful, starting with the program that Pam DiLavore MC’d so fabulously in the Sanctuary. Thank you to Pam and all who sang that night, wrote songs (yes, I do make gluten-free rosemary shortbread cookies!), and told stories about me and my ministry—and what we’ve done together all these years.
Afterward, it was so much fun to dance and play with people of all ages in the Fellowship Hall thanks to Kristi Chilton’s playlist, and Holly McKinney’s organization of gracious and tasty refreshments. Thank you to all who came out to celebrate and have fun together for the first time in more than two years! It seems we’ve been reconnecting to say goodbye. It’s been a wonderful reminder that we can get together to have fun, and how necessary it is that we create beloved community together.
It’s truly been an honor and a joyful privilege to serve your Lead Minister here for the past twelve years, and for two years before that in other roles. The pandemic has been hard on my body and mind—I’ve been assuring people that “your secrets are safe with me” because my memory is like Swiss cheese at this point. I’m looking forward to a little travel in June, time with family in July, and letting the future unfold after that. I don’t know exactly what’s next for me, and I’m fine with not knowing. Though I have declared that the coming year is going to be a “Year of Movement” and I’m looking forward to less screen time and much more physical activity.
Chris and I plan to continue to live in Durham. As I’ve explained before
, it’s common practice for past ministers to stay away from the congregation—which is really the people, not only the buildings—in order to give the next minister the chance to get established without the past casting lingering and unhelpful shadows over all. Rev. Jacqueline is amazing and, just like you, I want her ministry as ERUUF’s next Lead Minister to shine as we all know it can. So if I see you around town it’s fine for us to talk, and it’ll all go well when we keep in mind that I’m now your former minister.
I’ve grown mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in very strong, positive ways because of you and our relationships. And now I’m swimming out of this ministry on a high tide of pure gratitude and joy. Thank you for your love, trust and respect all these years. It’s a comfort to me to know that love never ends; astonishingly it only evolves into new forms as we carry it forward to new times, places, and people. May the life of this congregation go well and long into the future as we bid each other farewell.