Dear family and friends,
When my 1976 burgundy Triumph TR6 roared down our street for the last time, it was a courteous finality with the new owner. But for me, I was saying good-bye to a treasured friend. Memories swept through my mind like the wind would as I powered up over the Pali, with the top down, stars lingering close into the crisp air of night. I learned to rebuild the engine, rely on the pro’s when my best efforts couldn’t keep it running, and finally accepting an old friends gift of smoothing out the dents with a rich wine colored paint job. It was only a car, but it was always a joy to drive, and worth the exasperation of constant tinkering. It was part of me. Finally, with our third child on the way, it was clear we needed a bigger car, and so a transition was called for.
I know it’s not the same, yet I am searching to find my way through what our denomination ask us to consider a “Courteous Finality”. This is the time in our life together when I as your pastor retire from my call here at Wellspring.
I believe it is the right time, as hard as that is for me to say and embrace. I believe God has you in His hands and heart for real good new life together. I believe Bev and I are in His hands and heart for real good even with all the uncertainty that lies ahead. I believe that it is healthy and good to be sad, feel a bit lost, confused and uncertain, even possibly bothered or angered. I know I pass through these valleys of emotions and thoughts. At times it feels more like they pass through me. This I believe is healthy and normal, especially when we care for each other.
So I would like to propose another term for this that we are going through. I like to call it a “Caring Transition”. “Caring Transition” embraces much of the clarity of “Courteous Finality”, yet more honoring of the genuine care and friendship that we have come to know and share. There will be a season of my being away in order for me and you to adjust to my no longer having my hand on the helm. God has given you good, called and gifted pastors to shepherd you forward in this season of renewal.
I thank God for you and pray that our many good memories may guide us to be more than a courteous finality, but rather a wonderfully caring transition.