Grief and glee. That’s what I’ve been feeling lately, since Dave and I announced that it was time for us to retire from parish ministry. Glee because other needs are tugging at us — relationships, family history, art and music making, reading, community responsibilities here at White Horse Village. And as we age, ordinary householding and bodily maintenance become ever more time consuming. It will be good to do all these things with more energy and attention. But sorrow is coming to the fore. How we will miss you! In these short three and a half years, attenuated by being very part time, blighted by the shutdowns and restrictions of covid, we have come to love you all.
So we offer you these five expressions of farewell:
We Love You. We Forgive You. Please Forgive Us. Thank You. Goodbye.
We love you, individually and collectively. You are a valiant small congregation, living your faith, caring for each other.
We forgive you. Well, there’s not much to forgive, so let us reiterate that despite the struggles in being a small congregation in difficult times, you have kept going, making progress, reaching out. Please forgive us. We are sorry for all we have not accomplished, for moments of inattention and carelessness. Please release us from the burdens of our failures and frailties.
Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, to get to know you, to laugh and cry and eat and sing with you, to love you. You have enriched our lives and deepened our experience of ministry.
Goodbye. We will let you go, knowing that you are in good hands — your own, and each others’, that you will work together to become the congregation that you are meant to be. With the help all of you working together, leaders and elders and children and youth, newcomers and long-timers, with denominational advice and encouragement, and mostly with your own deep spiritual resources and commitment, you will continue to bless the world.
And please forgive me if I weep at our last service.
Love, Kerry and Dave