I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:3-6
These words of Paul keep ringing in my mind and heart. Paul’s thanksgiving echoes my own thoughts and prayers at the end of my time with you – first as your consultant and then as your priest-in-charge.
I am thankful to God. I have a deep sense that God is the one who called me here for this season, not just for your good, but also for mine. I have grown immeasurably as I have listened, worshiped, prayed, grieved, cried, celebrated and laughed with you. I have had such a profound sense of God’s presence throughout these months. I leave knowing that God has blessed us, and I am so very thankful to Him.
Your partnership in the gospel. From the very beginning, we have been partners at Truro. Truro’s wardens, vestry, staff, community group leaders, ministry volunteers (if I name them all, I’ll run out of space and forget someone important!) and worshipers have been engaged, seeking God, listening to one another, noticing what’s working and what’s not, and most of all praying. Your partnership has nourished and blessed me. And God has honored our partnership; He has heard our corporate prayers and honored our corporate service, bringing life and healing to Truro as a congregation.
He who began a good work…will bring it to completion… One of the oddest things about being a priest-in-charge is the temporary nature of the job. I was given a specific task: to come alongside of Truro in a time of crisis and heartbreak and “to right the ship.” I knew my time with you would be short. I hoped and prayed that I would leave Truro healthy enough that your new rector could lead you into a new, fruitful season. A few weeks ago, I had a strong sense that my work here is done. But even if my work is done, God’s work is not! God has wonderful plans for you, and we can trust Him to bring His good work in you to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
So, thank you, thank you, for welcoming me into your hearts – individually and as a congregation. You have blessed me beyond belief, and I leave with gratitude and joy – along with a little sadness, because I know how much I will miss you!