Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Thank You!

What a wonderful retirement celebration!  There was so much work and love and grace that went into the preparations.  Jeff and I had many happy times in the church and the manse and the beautiful painting of both will hang in the Arkport home as a constant reminder.  The Steuben glass owl hand cooler will be cherished.  It is a reminder of the wisdom I gained as we shared ministry together.  And the contribution to Cobblestone Springs is appreciated.  Cobblestone has been a place for me to go and find quiet and solitude. 

Thank you to the Sunday School for the very special song, to the “enhanced choir” and musicians for the beautiful music, to the kitchen crew and table setters for a wonderful and delicious banquet, and to all who spoke.  Thank you for the kind cards and notes and for the abundance of love you showered on both Jeff and me throughout the past eighteen years.

Much love,

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


September is often seen as a time of "beginnings". Teachers and students return to school and there is a change from when they left in June. Teachers have new students and students have new teachers. This month, in the life of the Watkins Glen First Presbyterian Church, there will be a change. Five months ago I announced my plan to retire as of September 30. Time has gone by quickly and now September is here. There will be a change for all of us. The pastoral relationship we now share will end. But please be assured friendships continue.

We must walk by faith as we face this transition. Frederick Buechner is quoted: "Remember that faith is more of a process than a possession. Faith is not being sure where you're going, but going anyway. A journey without maps."

As you face the upcoming transition of pastoral leadership, you are called to walk in faith. By faith, the church will continue to be involved in a vibrant ministry. This church has been providing ministry for 197 years. That's a long time. And it will continue to do so. Have faith. Have faith in the pastoral call process. It can be frustrating because the process doesn't move as fast as you would like. But the process is not simply hiring a new employee for the church. It is realizing that it is God who calls and it is you who will listen. The process is guided by Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church, who provides you with all that you need to be the church.

Thank you for the privilege of being your pastor. I ask for your prayers as I move on to the next chapter of my life. Be assured that I hold you in my heart and in my prayers as you listen to God to lead you by faith. In deep gratitude for the ministry we have shared during the past eighteen and a half years.

In Christ,

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Called to Love

Gracious God, we come before you today knowing that we often fall short of your call to love one another.  We allow ourselves to be blinded by wealth and power.  We ignore those around us who suffer injustice, poverty, and rejection.  We tune out the cries of the poor and those on the edges of our communities.  Forgive us, O God.

We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God.

May we understand the grace and forgiveness bestowed upon us by God, that others may find the Kingdom within us and among us.