My time at Aldersgate is rapidly drawing to a close. I want to thank you for letting me be in ministry with you these past 17 years. It’s been such a blessing to know you, to share with you in both times of joy and sorrow, and to work with you as we served Christ together. If I have hurt you in any way, I am sorry and ask for your forgiveness. Both Tom and I will miss you. We will not be back at Aldersgate for at least a year. If we see you around town, we’ll enjoy catching up with how you and your family are, but won’t talk with you about church business. You will have a new pastor who will be here with and for you. Any church issues need to be taken to him.
We will continue to hold you in prayer. My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer for the Philippians: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Phil. 1:3-11)
Change is never easy but it is inevitable. Keep in mind, that Pastor Sung Ho Lee is God’s answer to our prayers. We prayed for wisdom for the Bishop and District Superintendents as they made the appointment. We have also been praying for the transition that will be taking place as I leave and the new pastor takes over. He isn’t me and that’s a good thing. Sung Ho has gifts that he will bring to Aldersgate that will help move the church into the future that God has planned. And of course there will still be all of you here to support and encourage each other in Christian love and in your life and ministry. Most important, God is with us and God is faithful. God will help us in our grief as we say goodbye. God will be there with you and your new pastor to help make the necessary adjustments in a positive way. God will be with Tom and me as we enter the new chapter of our lives. We can look forward to what God has planned because God is good!
In Christ’s love, Pastor Anne