Dear Schweitzer friends,
I was speechless!
Yes, I was speechless as Susan and I stood before you last Sunday night. There was a flood of emotions and a myriad of thoughts which were coming at me so all I could say was: I love you and I’ll express my thoughts to you this Thursday in a pastor’s note. Here is my attempt in what still remains inexplicable.
Susan and I were deeply touched by the gym full of well wishers and for your incredibly generous retirement gift. Seeing a sea of faces full of smiles was an incredible sight. Thanks to you, we will be enjoying travel excursions and developing plans for a new backyard deck. What moved us the most was the love we felt in the room. Our love for you and your love for us was all wrapped in the love of God. It is a memory we will treasure the rest of our lives.
Serving as your pastor has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I give thanks for the countless times God has taken us on new adventures of faith. I know the adventurous journey will continue for Schweitzer with the leadership of your new Lead Pastor Spencer Smith. Thank you for extending the grace and love you have given us on to the Smith family.
I want to also say a word of appreciation to those I have been privileged to work with on the church staff. The collegiality we have enjoyed, the challenges we have tackled, and the faith we have shared has been a rich blessing. It truly made going to work each day fun, well, most days!
Susan and I are pleased to remain in Springfield as this community is home to us. We are looking forward to having more time with our two grandchildren and a slower pace in life. While we will miss our Schweitzer family, we will cherish the memories and treasure the friendships which last a lifetime.
I look forward to one more opportunity to preach and share the Good News of Jesus with you–Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16th. Join us on this special day of worship!
Now, let’s give God all the glory and praise for what has been accomplished these past nineteen years!
With Christ’s affection,