“We always thank God for all of you and continually pray for you.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2
This opening salutation from the Epistle to the church at Thessalonica captures my own thoughts when I think about the Presbyterian Church at Point Pleasant. The Epistle, attributed to Paul, has as its purpose three tasks: to thank God for the prospering of the Gospel in that place, to assure the people that he holds them in prayer, and to encourage their continuing witness. All three of those purposes are in my mind in relation to PPPC as I take my leave from the role of Supply Pastor and transition back to retired worshipper!
We have had a remarkable and unforgettable year. Yes, the pandemic, political upheaval, economic uncertainty threw us some curves. That said, our ministry was rock solid and highly adaptable! We just kept meeting every new circumstance with perseverance, determination and yes, joy. No doubt the holiest of Spirits abides here. In the continuing ministries of worship and Christian education, in the ongoing work of governance and in the celebration of the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism, the Gospel flourished. I will forever hold this congregation in my heart and in my prayers. So often the success of the ministries you ascribed to me were, in truth, a mere reflection of your own life and witness.
I have been honored to be, for a season, your pastor. I know first-hand your strengths, and I look now for you to provide Pastor Molly with the same degree of support and encouragement you showed me. As we continue to find together our “new normal” we will have her leadership as we reinvigorate our missions, ministries and fellowship occasions. After a bit of a break in September, I look forward to returning among you.
And then there is the matter of thanking you. Last Sunday’s luncheon, your kind, kind words and your thoughtful gifts far exceeded my greatest expectation. For your friendship and generosity, I am indeed grateful to the congregation and staff. I say again, “God be with you ‘til we meet again.”
With love and gratitude,