After 23 years of full-time pastoring in the UMC, preceded by retiring as an artillery officer from the US Army, plus two years of employment in a BTB Information Technology compay, I will enter retired status for good this coming Wednesday.
Here are some photos from this morning.
|Serving Communion at Gideon. We used prepackaged, individual cups with the wafer and the wine (grape juice) wrapped together in one unit. I served with tongs so no one's hands ever touched the cups but the communicant's.|
|My final benediction at Gideon UMC.|
|When Cathy and I arrived at Greenbrier UMC, this sign awaited us near the front entrance.|
|Beginning my final service at Greenbrier UMC.|
|Consecrating the Communion elements.|
|Then we proceeded with a litany of passing of the pastoral ministry from myself to Jason. We each led the congregation is responses and prayers for one another and the church itself.|
|The church hosted a "walk-thru" reception for Cathy and me after the service. It would have been outside had weather permitted.|
|A wonderful lady of the church made this for me - Wake Forest was my undergrad school. I already had a Vandy bottle. I earned my M.Div. there.|
|That Cathy was also in ministry with me at the churches was a real fact and the people said so! This was given to her because everyone knows (I mean really knows!) that Cathy loves to cheer for Duke basketball.|
|The church gave us this laser-etched crystal plaque as a gift. We are deeply moved by this thoughtfulness!|
The people of Greenbrier UMC very kindly made this video for Cathy and me.
Cathy and I are thankful beyond description to all the people of Greenbrier and Gideon UMCs for the past three years. A finer and more wonderful group of people with whom to come to the finish line neither of us can imagine! What is next for us? Love God, love neighbor, and leave the rest up to the Lord.
May the love of God, the mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord, and the strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and always. Amen.