Pastor’s Friday Comments (08.13.21)

 

As I close out my ministry with the Parkway family, my heart is filled with gratitude for each of you and the difference you have made in my life. I could not have asked for a more supportive, loving, and committed group of Christians with whom to engage in ministry and spiritual growth. I consider myself to be the most blessed and fortunate of pastors.

Over the past eighteen years, we have gained and lost members, celebrated births and baptisms, grieved together over deaths, and walked beside one another in very challenging times. Through it all you have been unfailingly encouraging, both of me and one another, willing to perform whatever ministry you were called upon to do, and enthusiastic in your participation in all aspects of our life together.

And in all that time, there has not been a single contentious business meeting, a fact that I don’t believe is shared by many congregations. On those occasions when we have had to make difficult decisions, there may have been some differences of opinion, but I was always aware that everyone involved was looking for the will of God and the best outcome and they were determined to come out of the meeting still friends with one another.

I attribute our blessings to two factors. One is certainly your collective desire to do the will of God. Where that will is sought, there is never division. 

And the other factor is our congregational sense of humor. I’ll admit it: not everyone “gets” us. I’ve found that, through the years, some people didn’t think we were serious enough or that we weren’t properly outraged at something they perceived as a blight on society, or we spent too much time laughing (there is no such thing). But for those who were willing to be serious about ministry without taking themselves too seriously, Parkway has been home.

When an individual or a congregation believes that they are loved by God, freed by grace, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, there are a lot more reasons to laugh than to cry. I can look back on our time together and say that, though we have certainly cried together, we have had a lot more opportunities to laugh. I will always be glad that that was true.

As I turn my attention away from active ministry to other pursuits, I remain open to whatever the Lord would have me do, but I feel confident that, whatever that might be, my pleasure in pursuing it cannot exceed the joy I have had in being with you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being family to my family and me.