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@ 10:00 AM
Communion 1st Sunday of the month
At the Annual Congregational Meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2020, I announced that I will be retiring as the Settled Pastor of Emmanuel UCC on August 31.
There is a significance to that date. It will mark 10 years that we have journeyed together. The plaque on the wall shows that I have had the second longest pastorate at Emmanuel since around 1905. At the time of this writing, it was about 10 years ago that you took on a great task. You realized that your pastoral salary had fallen behind the norm and you chose to raise your operating budget significantly to call your next full-time pastor. For this I praise you.
In the years since, you and the leadership have continued to make this a priority, making good decisions to operate financially positive. I know this has been no small task.
Around 18 months ago the leadership of the church began discussions about how to react to growing expenses, but declining income. I, too, have been seeking information and guid-ance. And yes, there were discussions as to if I was thinking about part-time ministry as I grew into retirement.
It has been a great ten years here at Emmanuel. This is a church that has allowed both Elizabeth and I to be an integrated part of its life and ministry, a church home, not just the pastor and pastor’s spouse. You have been very accepting of my storytelling style as well as my storytelling. I thank you.
In your seasons ahead my hope is the congregation and church leadership, along with the great guidance of our Living Water Association General Minister, Nayiri Karjain, and staff, take the time necessary for serious, spirit-led discussion and discernment as to new ways for “the biggest, little church in the valley” to continue for many more decades. I’m sure that it will not be “as is always has been,” but it will be new and fresh, and yes a bit different.
(Copyright©2020 THE STORYTELLING PASTOR TM)
From Pastor Bert's Desk