Dear FBCD Family,
This month marks my last as interim pastor after 15 months of service. I thought I would take this opportunity to say a few closing words.
First of all, thank you for calling me to serve as interim pastor. Your decision placed a lot of trust in me, and I have both valued that trust and sought to make you glad that you extended it to me.
I am grateful for the many ways in which you have allowed me to serve as a true pastor. I have been invited into your homes, your classes, your lives, your hearts, and your prayers. When I have preached, you have listened closely. When I have sought to provide leadership, you have offered respectful attention. When I have visited you in the hospital, you have welcomed me. I am so grateful. All along I have sensed your prayers for me. I have sensed them in your demeanor, in your notes of support, and in that more mysterious way when I have felt God lifting me up on the prayers of the saints.
I have sought to offer as much vision and direction as is appropriate for an interim pastor -- no more, no less. I have looked for various ways to strengthen the church and leave it in as strong a position as possible for the new pastor. And I have sought to offer faithful biblical preaching to feed you, my dear flock.
I am so grateful to our deeply committed lay leaders and volunteers who carry so much day to day responsibility around here, as well as our talented and committed church staff. I leave you in good hands with such leaders, as well as the person we trust God will call to join us as senior pastor.
I regret that I am unable to muster the time and energy to continue in my interim pastorate all the way until the new pastor is on hand. It became clear to me by September that I had better set an end date on my pastoral service, and that Christmas was the right time. My administrative responsibilities are growing both at Mercer and in my professional associations. My sense of weariness has been increasing. I knew that now was the time. I will continue to hold you in prayer during the end stages of the pastor search.
People have been asking me whether I will stay in the church. I have decided to follow the standard Presbyterian policy of remaining entirely away from FBC Decatur for at least one year from the time of my departure, for ethical reasons outlined in this document available on our website: http://www.fbcdecatur.com/pastor-separation-ethics
My love for FBC Decatur remains great. I will always hold you in prayer and in my heart. Let’s now have a great Advent season. I will see you each Sunday this month.
God bless you all,