News travels real fast eh? J I just had a phone-call from a Minister friend and he asked me about my leaving in May! Amazing!
So knowing that everyone who is a part of First Church wasn’t there on Sunday, I just want to make sure everyone knows (again for some – sorry) that I will be stepping down as Senior Minister of our parish with my last Sunday being the 3rd of May. It’s a little before I had thought but after just over 18 years here at First and about another 9 at my previous parish, I think it is time to take some time to rest and refresh. I’m not stopping being a ‘Minister’ as I’m not resigning from the PCANZ and next year I will turn 65 and will ‘retire’ anyway, so it is only one year sooner than I would have originally thought.
Since Sunday, I have been really blessed by folks saying some very kind things to me and how they will miss both Evonne and I; we feel exactly the same. We’ve obviously had more time than others in thinking this through, yet it doesn’t get any easier for us in our emotions because we genuinely do consider some of the members of this fellowship amongst our closest friends and altogether, our church family. So although we know it is the right thing at this point in time for me, don’t think it’s any easier for us because it isn’t – we care for you all so much. By the way, Evonne will still be the Head Teacher at our Preschool.
On the other hand, the great news is that the church is in very fine heart, led by very skilled, passionate-for-Jesus people whose heart is for His Kingdom and for all the folks in our fellowship and beyond. There will be no backing-off whatsoever in the mission of the church nor the life that is abundant nor should there be any slowing up. This is a great church family to which to belong and I know it will grow in strength as it continues to seek and serve God.
But can I just say this. Sometimes, and for weird reasons which simply don’t ring true and always leave me wondering, on occasions like this some folks at a church take the ‘opportunity’ of leaving the fellowship to go somewhere else. Please don’t do this or be tempted to do it. The modern Christian world has enough spiritual butterflies around without us adding to them. LOL