Pastor’s Friday Comments (07.23.21)

      

Last Sunday I announced my specific plans for retirement, something that all of us knew was coming by the end of this year. I had prepared a fairly lengthy statement, but after consulting with a couple of my advisors, I decided on a shorter statement for the service. I’ll have plenty of opportunities over the next month to share more, but I want to flesh out that original statement just a little bit here:

 In October of last year, I announced that I believed it was time for me to begin the process that would lead to my retirement from pastoral ministry. I also stated that, if the congregation chose, I was willing to remain until a new pastor was called, or the end of 2021, whichever came first.

 You agreed to this plan and, shortly after that, the church elected a six-member Pastor Search Committee with Lance Wallace as chairman. That committee immediately began the difficult and time-consuming task of searching for the best possible person to lead this great congregation. They have committed themselves to finding the one whom God wants to lead Parkway into its future.

 The committee has been very transparent in keeping the congregation apprised of its progress. For the past few months, as they have narrowed the search, they have given weekly updates through the church email. You, the members, have kept them in your prayers and we have devoted a time at the beginning of each Midweek Prayer Service to prayer for this critical process.

 The committee has also been very kind and considerate of Linda and me at every stage of their work. They have sought my advice and counsel and have updated me frequently on their progress. More recently, they have sought, as best they could, to provide me with a forecast as to when their work might be complete so I could plan accordingly.

 While it is the Search Committee’s prerogative and responsibility to inform you of where they stand in the process, I can tell you today that I am very confident that they will be announcing the person whom they believe God has chosen to be the next pastor of Parkway Baptist Church in the very near future.

Therefore, the Search Committee and I have determined that, to provide for an orderly transition – with a time to celebrate our ministry together and to inform you fully about the candidate they will recommend – I am officially resigning as your pastor effective on Sunday, August 15. While it grieves me to think that I will no longer be your pastor, I am content in the knowledge that you will still be surrounded by the love and care of God, you will still love and care for one another, and that you will be led by a pastor who will grow to love and care for you as much as I do.

 I have been given the barest of details about a celebration on August 15, but I am sure that you will be given information about that very soon. In the meantime, I look forward, as I always do, to our worship and ministry together for these remaining weeks. My heart is full of gratitude to you and to God for these eighteen incredible years we have shared.