As time draws close to my retirement at the end of this month, I sense all the more clearly the wonderful things about being at Carmel as your pastor that I will miss. We have invested our lives together in countless ways: sharing in laughter and in tears, sharing in cooperative efforts and in disagreements, sharing in music and in silence, sharing in profound truths and in frivolous trivialities. We have shared together in life.
Furthermore, I have had the great joy of watching folks learn and grow, take on new challenges and discover new capabilities, succeed and fail, always undergirded by the sustaining love and grace of God. Likewise, I have gone through these same things in my own life (you should want that in a pastor – none of us are a finished product). Hence, I leave this place as a deeper, more whole person, than when I arrived. I know the same is true for many of you.
All I can say in the end is “thank you.” Thank you for having me. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for letting me have, hear and care for you.