Gov. Holcomb announced that he is authorizing large religious services to begin meeting again in the coming days or weeks. Honestly, this was the news I was hoping for, because I really wanted to have time with you in-person: both to say goodbye and to celebrate the high points of the last seven years. More than looking forward to it, I needed it.
However, looking at the pandemic trends and how the death rate continues to rise in Indiana, I do not think it would be safe or wise for us to gather on or before my last Sunday, June 7. How I wish it were otherwise! Nevertheless, we must prioritize our people and their safety.
Having a good goodbye now will look different, but it is still important. Here are some things I am doing, and you may want to do with the remaining 31 days of our ministry together.
- Schedule a personal phone or Zoom conversation with me via Calendly.
- Send me a card (649 E. Arch Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46202) or email.
- Co-write the history of the tenure of our ministry together—Really! You are invited to edit this Google document I started.
- Attend our May 31 service so that you can hear my goodbye sermon to you.
- Plan on staying for an extended coffee hour on May 31 – I will make a point to “visit” each coffee hour breakout room following our worship service.
- Attend our June 7 service, where I will be de-installed as your minister.
One thing I want to say often, generally, and specifically is, “Thank You!” I have spoken to you about how I have been “writing” your stories on the tablet of my heart. There are profound ways that you have shaped me to be more thoughtful, justice-seeking, open-minded, and deliberative. Many of you have helped me experience worthiness, joy, and mutuality. Some of you have helped me become more self-aware of personal blind spots and of different perspectives. You have truly shaped me.
One loss I have now is that I have too little time to express thank you to 300 specific individuals (though I would have something to say to each of you). Another loss is that I will likely not have an opportunity to say to you how specifically your lessons, insights, and gifts will continue to show up as blessings in my life in the years to come, though I know you will, through my memories of our time together, continue to show up for me.
Sometimes there is so much to say that I am at a loss for words. That is ok. I will close by saying, “Thank you,” and “I love you.”
Yours in ministry these last seven years,