Even though I have resigned from Resurrection, I am so very thankful for the partnership we share together for five years. I want to share a few of the memories I cherish.
I remember the Saturday before my first Sunday, November 14, 2010. It started to snow heavily. As I watched the snow I began to wonder, “Should I be worried about this? Who plows the parking lot or shovels the walkways? Do I need to contact them?” After fretting for about an hour, I decided to call Tom Hansen, the interim pastor prior to my arrival. He quickly reassured me, “Don’t worry, John. Larry will plow the lot and clear the walks.” Sure enough, when I arrived the next morning, Larry was finishing up the parking lot, clearing away the ten-plus inches of snow. I have never worried about snow removal or property maintenance since.
Baptisms have been a blast! I love holding each new member of the congregation and instructing the congregation that we have made a promise to the child: the promise to raise the child in faith in Jesus.
However the baptism that will always stand out for me was my first one. It was for an adult, Jill Blissenbach. I made sure the water was in the font, the baptismal promises were on display slides, and the family was ready. The only problem was that when it came time to do the actual baptism I completely forgot Jill’s name. Fortunately she did not and graciously laughed with me at my mistake.
I remember with joy the children coming up to the front each Sunday for the Children’s message and their eagerness to share God’s love in their comments. Several times the worship team moved me to visible tears with a song that touched my heart in a special way. I remember preaching on the four soils from Jesus’ parable of the sower in Mark 4 and how each section of the church responded to being labeled a certain type of soil. I particularly remember how excited the “good” soil section responded with smiles and a few “Yeahs!”
I remember the energy and excitement of the Faith in Action Sundays when we served in the community in such diverse and meaningful ways. “What happens at Resurrection leaves Resurrection.”
And I remember the New Connections Campaign when we had to raise funds to pay for our connection to city sewer, a sign, and a building study. The generosity of that campaign demonstrated for me that Resurrection can do great things when the members rally together.
The memories are rich and diverse, stretching deep into my life. My decision to leave is NOT based on some deficiency in the congregation, but rather my changing spiritual focus and call. I believe Resurrection has a great and joyous dance with Jesus coming soon. I look forward to watching Resurrection become more fully alive in the months and years to come.
What is one of your favorite memories of your congregation?