Weekly Letter from Pastor David

December 18, 2017

Dear FBCD Family:

My heart is full of gratitude to God and to you as I complete my service as your interim pastor.

I am grateful for the very kind recognition in both services yesterday -- and the gift of 27 Braves games! That was truly a surprise, and a welcome one.

I am grateful for the tremendous gifts and leadership we have within our congregation. For Matt Snyder, who did such a great job in the pulpit yesterday. For departing chairs Craig Taylor, Bill Neal, and Ronnie Jowers, for their service to our church. And for Daniel Solberg and Kathryn Hartgrove, and all who made Christmas on Clairemont such a success. On this Monday morning I hear that incredible resounding in my ears, heart, and spirit. What a night!

I am grateful that our congregation is at peace and healthy as we prepare for the next transition.

Grateful for the way in which I have been able to be my authentic self as your pastor -- not playing a role but being accepted for, and along the way growing into, who I am as a pastor.

Grateful for the many rich moments of encounter with each other and with Jesus -- in hospital rooms, church services, office visits, Wednesday nights, and hallway conversations.

Grateful for the way you have welcomed and integrated my mother-in-law and my sister into the church family.

Grateful for the laypeople who weekly demonstrate their profound devotion to the congregation.

Grateful for the paid staff who daily execute the mission of the church.

And right now, unspeakably grateful for the cards, notes, letters, and prayers you have offered on the loss of my sister.

One other thing: I am grateful that the timing of my departure is followed just a few weeks later by "call weekend," and the possibility that a new pastor is on the way. I will certainly be in prayer for the congregation and the candidate, even as I am absenting myself to clear the field.

I look forward to seeing all of you on Christmas Eve morning and night for those wonderful last services of Advent. I will preach my heart out, we will sing with joy, and together await the newborn king.

In Christ's love,

Pastor David