Final thoughts to Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship

May 29, 2013

I once heard a development officer for Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary say that they try to say thank you six different times to those who give to the seminary.  I’m not sure what number of thank you we’re on now, but this is one more time to say it.  Thank you.

After worship on Sunday we went home full of gratitude and, frankly, a little stunned with the thought of that being our final Sunday at CMF.  We put the girls to bed that evening by flipping through the memory book you presented to us, reading through the kind notes and looking at pictures.  It will be a wonderful way to treasure these relationships.  Thank you.

Yesterday evening was the final Community Meal and there was a good turnout of friends from the neighborhood.  I shared with them that when you pastor at CMF you have two congregations.  One Sunday mornings and one Tuesday evenings.  The presence of these friends will continue to enrich CMF life.  

Today has been my last day in the office.  Just me and the boxes and some finish work on the computer.  Plus some good podcasts while packing.  This American Life.  On Being.  I look at the boxes full of books and files and feel kind of like I’m stuffing seven years of congregational life, along with my brain and its outflowings, into small containers.  The orderliness of the stacked boxes doesn’t do justice to the web of relationships, words, and actions that we have shared together.  But there they are.  Compressed together, taped up, and mobile.

Although I’ll still be checking it, this is the last day I’ll be regularly returning email from the Cincinnati Mennonite address, which will now have an automatic response with new contact info.

Keith will be sending out an Exit Covenant that Council and I have affirmed which helps outline the nature of a departing pastor’s relationship with a congregation.

Thank you for embracing, and releasing and blessing our family.  I release you into the strong and caring arms of God.

Affectionately,

Joel

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