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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

July 2009

Safe Journey

Never at a loss for words, I find myself sitting at the keyboard, struggling with what to say in this final newsletter cover. How do you say goodbye after over seven years of ministry? How do you summarize all the joys and sorrows of these years together? How do you say goodbye to a family that you walked beside, watching children grow together, and struggled with the sadness of saying goodbye to loved ones who have gone home to God? How do you say goodbye to sisters and brothers who have nurtured your children, offered comfort in the struggles and complexities of their lives, and prayed for you in the midst of it all? This place is so full of memories, and it is difficult to say goodbye.

In one of my favorite religious films, called Jesus, staring Jeremy Sisto, the characters use the phrase, “safe journey” when parting. That expression seems profound and appropriate for this occasion. To me, the words safe journey serve as a reminder of the life journey and faith journey that we all are traveling on. They stir up the image in my mind of being held in the palm of God’s hand as we go our separate ways. Safe journey suggests that we have traveled together for a time and now our journeys will take different routes, but perhaps our paths will cross again some day along the road.

I have been blessed by our journey together. My heart has been touched by the many kindnesses that have been shown over the years. More than anything else, I have so appreciated the way that you have loved my children, walked for them, included them by helping them to make sandwiches and pillows, and made a point of greeting them by name and shaking their hands on Sunday morning.

As I think about our journey together, there is much that I will miss. I will miss our Christmas Dinners together and our Lenten studies and services. I will miss our mission kit Sundays, marching in the rain for Darfur, and Faith in Action pillow sewing and lunch making. I will miss our ambitious Fill the Truck adventures and Hunger Awareness Days. I will especially miss the smiles of the precious children during Children’s Time, and the many adventures we have shared at Vacation Bible School traveling through time machines to Bethlehem and Magic Tree Houses to the Rainforest. I will treasure all these memories in my heart. They have been important way-stations along the journey. I hope that our journey together has touched your heart and provided you with special memories to treasure as well.

As we travel on different journeys, I wish you all safe journey, sisters and brothers, wherever your journeying takes you. May God keep us all safe in the palm of his hand.

Blessings,

Rev. Laurie