This was a special day. Grace Lutheran Church held a farewell for me, and it was beautiful. The Fellowship Hall was decorated with love, a spread of cookies, cakes and fruit, and each table was centered with a pile of Almond Joy candy-bars to send me off with JOY!
I was deeply moved by how many people stood in a loooong line to shake hands, offer a warm embrace, and say kind and encouraging words. Every encounter was so special and I will cherish each one.
It is hard to wrap my mind around all the wonderful things that have happened in, to, with and through me at Grace over the past seven years. I am definitely not the same man or pastor that I was when we started.
Thank you to Pastor Mark for mentoring me, to the Vision Board for encouraging me, to the staff for partnering with me, to this congregation for growing with me, and to God for filling us all with the Spirit and Promise.
Thank you for sending me on to our next adventure with grace.
Here are some photos and special gifts from today.
This was the official gift from the church. It is a beautifully framed print of a Paul Oman watercolor painting “On the Road to Emmaus.” This is meaningful on many levels. First, it is special because Paul is my friend and fellow Pastor/Artist. Second, the road to Emmaus is an Easter story and Grace is sending me, with love and with Christ, to serve at Easter Lutheran!
Thanks to Tom and Jeannie for hosting the table and making everything Sizzle. Thanks to all who baked for this occasion.
A beautiful cake.
A bowl of Joy! These are the left over candy bars placed in the wooden bowl that the Graceful Seniors gave to me last week. Beautiful.
And then there is this gem. This was painted by Emma Krom, a junior in high school. I met Emma when she was in 5th grade and she has been one of my art buddies ever since. This image, the care that went into, and the note she wrote on the back, set me over the top today. My heart is full.
THANK YOU, GRACE! I love you and pray that God blesses you as we each step into the next chapter of our journeys..