The melon is ripe. When they are they should be eaten lest they become no good. They usually taste the best when they are fully ripe. It's the time of year to eat the ripe melons. I was gifted with a nice ripe melon that I will have enjoyed by the time you read this.
Are we mindful of time? Times and seasons march on and we've gotten used to it. I've thought a lot about time lately. For instance, this is the last newsletter article I'll write as your Senior Pastor. Where has the time gone, these last sixteen years? Here are a few reflections on this time.
Pastoral ministry is tiring and can drain a person emotionally - I've loved every minute of it.
All God's people have stuff. No one or no family is immune from the normal sufferings of this life. None of us handle it perfectly - I've admired your strength.
In times of my own doubts and fears you have modeled the faith for me. You are steadfast and faithful - I've received courage from this.
You have courageously embraced change even when it was difficult, you do it for the kingdom of God - I am humbled by this.
You are trusting God and our leadership as we face our future. I am glad.
Pleasant Dale has been my church home since 1979, and really even before that. I am glad Angie and I were able to raise our children here, that this is where they learned about Jesus. We are blessed that today we see so many children and young families who are a part of this congregation. Blessed by the diversity of generations, our oldest member is 100, and our youngest are babies! This diversity means we can learn from each other as we fellowship and worship together. Our relationships are richer.
At a pastor's gathering we were once asked, what will be your legacy when you leave your congregation? As I step away from the senior pastor role I hope I have left us taking our faith ever more seriously, day by day. Living out our faith before our families and in our community and making it clear that Jesus is our Lord. I think this is so in this place as I step into a different role in January.
As it is, it's time to eat the melon, it's ripe. It's good. Put plainly, it's time for me to step aside.
Now is the time for the transition that is unfolding in our midst. I know you will love and support Pastor Jonathan just as you loved and supported me. I am looking forward to continual service in support of Pastor Jonathan, Pastor Elliott and Pastor Olinda.
Blessings from our God to each of you