“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5
My mother always made sure that I wrote thank you notes in a timely manner after my birthday, or Christmas, or graduation. And, although I try very hard to carry on that practice, I do not always send out notes as quickly as I should. It is not that I am not grateful for the gift, or for the thought that has gone into it, I’m just not good about getting the notes written. So, I wanted to take this opportunity in this month’s newsletter to share my deep gratitude to all of you, for making the Installation Service such a joyful and uplifting occasion. From the first introit led by Voices of Africa, to the vibrant anthem and hymn singing, to the last notes of the bagpipes, my heart was full.
So many people played a role in making the afternoon such a wonderful celebration – bringing food, singing in the choir, setting up the fellowship hall, printing bulletins, making the sanctuary look beautiful, wearing red, and just your very presence! – that I could never thank each of you enough. I want you to know that I do not take any of it for granted, and that I feel both deeply honored and humbled by the privilege of being only the third installed pastor of this congregation.
I still smile every time I think about that day, and I do give thanks to God every time I remember you, as Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. I chuckle to myself every time I hear someone say, “Now that our new pastor is here,” since I don’t feel all that new! But it reflects the new relationship we have entered into, one which allows us the ability to explore new ways of doing ministry together both here in Burlington, and in the wider church and global community. I want to hear your thoughts, dreams, and ideas for ways we can live out our faith together. I am preparing a survey of the congregation which will seek your input in the areas of music and worship, mission, and congregational care. The more input we get, the better our collective ideas will be!
As always, I welcome your phone calls, visits, or emails to share your thoughts or concerns at any time. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with you as we move forward together, sharing the gospel in our words and actions, both near and far!
Grace and Peace,