Saying My Goodbyes

(Sorry: for some reason I originally posted this as a cartoon. Mistake. Not funny.) Some people are under the impression that this transition I'm going through is a pleasant one. Some assume that I've shaken the dust of the church off of my feet and am leaving in a huff. Not so. There are definitely positive aspects to this. It is good for Lisa and me, good for the church, and good for the new pastors. But Lisa and I are experiencing a great deal of sadness and grief. Here's a list (yes, another list) of just 10 things I have to say goodbye to:
  1. a community of amazing people who have shed blood, sweat and tears as well as shared joy with me through my 15 years at Rothesay Vineyard;
  2. public speaking on a weekly basis about things that matter;
  3. although low, I had a secure salary plus medical benefits;
  4. gathering together with my grown children at this church on Sunday mornings;
  5. working with a fantastic team of elders who are passionate about genuine community;
  6. my church VISA which I used to treat the people I met with to coffee or lunch or whatever throughout the week;
  7. the intense heat of sustained spiritual warfare. I've never seen or heard of anything like it;
  8. all the beautiful children running around, singing and dancing and laughing during worship;
  9. being financially supported to read, study, meditate and pray in solitude;
  10. saying, "Yes, I'm the pastor of 'that church' you've heard so much about!"
I have already said we will remain connected to this community in many ways. And many of those items will be replaced with a new sphere of responsibility. At least I trust so.

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