The letter came in the mail – ” I AM RETIRING ” !
For 12 years – we have called him “PASTOR JOE ”
and with much sadness
We are saying goodbye September 29th. 2019.
We have belonged to our church I guess 13 or 14 years –
and he has been there for the better part of that.
Then – around seven years ago –
Pastor Annabelle –
joined him as our associate pastor –
” One of our own ” as the Bishop said yesterday.
Having been raised in our Synod –
and ordained –
Becoming our co – pastor after her call to Community Lutheran Church.
It was a sad day yesterday –
for we had our Bishop –
who also is retiring at the end of August –
Doing the service and afterword –
A open question and answer
with the Pastors and the Bishop
And knowing in a few short months –
we shall not see Debra ( wife ) – and Joe again.
For in our Lutheran church –
they must leave and have no contact for years.
With sadness comes hope – for you see – in the Lutheran Church –
The next Pastor will be called by our membership –
After extensive vetting.
As was Pastor Joe and Pastor Annabelle.
One goes and one remains –
Pastor Annabelle has become endeared to us all.
Her smile – her compassion – her voice rings clear in service.
For years and years – every Thursday or Friday – she sits in the coffee shop –
Offering free prayers and consultations to any and all – with open arms.
She truly is one of a kind.
For a time – we will count down the time and say our goodbyes –
Our memories – laughter at book club with Debra –
Her wit – her insight – her presence will be missed greatly.
Pastor Joe – his drive forward – his open arms –
his eyes taking in all new people in the pews and extending a welcome.
Their leadership – their compassion –
has led Community Lutheran to this point –
A welcoming to all –
We – the congregation – are the winners here –
To know both Pastor Joe and Debra –
To have them in our lives all these years –
Has been a blessing –
And to Have Pastor Annabelle and Jeff – her husband – to move forward –
We have had the best of two Worlds.
Already from what she said on Sunday – moving ahead –
Moving the congregation toward that common goal they both established.
The doctrine of the Church – the Open arms –
Community , as the word says – involving all –
Young Clergy Woman moving us forward –
We shall always remember – as when we first came and Pastor Paul retired.
We moved on and new beginning took shape –
And in a few months –
it shall happen once again.
Welcome Pastor Annabelle & Jeff – Farewell Pastor Joe and Debra
” LEAVING ON A JET PLANE ” as the song goes –
Saying fare thee well –
” I’LL BE HOME AGAIN “
Saying welcome to Community Lutheran – FREE PRAYERS AVAILABLE !
They both are moving forward – each in their own direction –
But with in the Spirit of the Lord –
each with COURAGE AND HOPE –
Fare thee well and Hello and welcome
PAPA’S WORLD – THE LUTHERAN WAY – GOING TO MISS HIM
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