It hardly seems like it’s been six years.
When we first came to Trinity Church, our kids were in high school, now they are all in their twenties and either in college or working. When we arrived I was applying for ordination, now I’m celebrating the fifth anniversary of my ordination.
When we came, Trinity was recovering from a serious wound, but is now healthier and moving forward. Trinity is pushing itself to reach out, to be mission minded, to do more than just send checks but to be active participants in the mission and vision of Jesus Christ. These things are necessary if a church is to grow and be healthy because without them, churches become insulated from the world which is the opposite of what Jesus taught us to do. Our job is not only to invite the world in, but to go out from the four walls of the church and be in the world. Our neighbors can never come to faith in Jesus if they never meet one of his followers, and they can’t meet us if we never find places to mingle, make friends, get to know them, and build trust.
There is, of course, much more to do, but the Staff Parish Relations Committee felt that maybe it was time for someone else to lead the charge. I don’t disagree, and, apparently, neither does the bishop and her cabinet. It may seem odd, but there is another way that I have, at least jokingly described my departure. At the end of the children’s movie, Nanny McFee, the children beg their nanny not to leave, but she tells them that, “When you want me but no longer need me, then I have to go.” And to some extent, my departure is like that, as well as the ending of Mary Poppins. Trinity Church has come a long way from where it was six years ago, but now, the winds have changed, and there is another place where I am needed.
I did my best. I have done what I could do. My prayer is that you will continue to grow in grace, in mercy, in your likeness to Jesus Christ, and that Pastor Tina can take you where you need to go next.