From The Pastor’s Pen

From The Pastor’s Pen

In January of 2013, I was called to serve as Pastor and Teacher of this congregation. Sometime after that, a Service of Installation took place to celebrate our covenant relationship with each other and to “make it    official.” It has been a blessing and a privilege to have spent the last nine (plus) years since then as your pastor. Together, I believe we have been faithful stewards of what has been passed down to us by those generations who preceded us. I also believe that we have forged a good legacy that those who will follow in our footsteps may build upon. I especially appreciate the ways that this church persevered through the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.

I have sought to provide spiritual leadership in the only way that I know-how, which is by being faithful in seeking God’s will and vision for myself and the church, as best as I have been able to discern those things. As I approach my 65th birthday, that discernment has guided me to a sense that the time is right for me to retire. I have not lost my love for preaching, for ministry or for you.  However, after much prayerful consideration over the past year, I believe it is time for me to transition into retirement from the rigorous schedule and responsibilities which come with full-time ministry. My target date for retirement to begin is the first of June 2022. However, that date is not set in stone because Sue and I are presently in the process of qualifying for and acquiring an affordable apartment to call home before we can vacate the parsonage.

We have been blessed to be part of this congregation. We thank God for the time we have enjoyed together and for the many ways you have embraced us as your Pastor and Pastor’s wife. We have truly cherished being part of the ministry of this church, and want you to know how very blessed we feel to have shared the walk of Christian discipleship with all of you. For those times when I have failed to express the love that Jesus commands us to show one another, I ask your forgiveness. And I offer that same forgiveness in return.      

While bringing closure to our ministry together will not be easy, we know we will be surrounded by your love and prayers in this time of transition, as you also will be in our prayers. May these words recorded in the Book of Jeremiah serve as an anchor for us all in the uncertainty that comes with times of transition such as this: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Soon it will be time for this church to assume the responsibilities of seeking an Interim Minister to guide you through the transition ahead, and forming a Search Committee to begin the process of seeking and calling a new settled Pastor. This is always a crucial time in the life of a congregation; one that calls for the full involvement and commitment of everyone in the congregation, with the support and guidance of the North Central Association of the Southern New England Conference.                         

As you may know, when a pastor retires, he or she no longer is affiliated with the congregation he or she has served. That means, following my retirement I will not be available for pastoral acts such as baptisms,    confirmations, weddings, or funerals. I will also not be available to provide pastoral care in situations of need. An interim pastor will serve the congregation in these ways from the time of my retirement until a new pastor is called. It is vital that a good transition from one pastor to another is made. That is why the retired pastor is expected to refrain from a pastoral presence in his or her former congregation. That includes a cessation of contact through social media platforms such as Facebook for an extended period of time.

I know that God has prepared another Pastor who will faithfully and lovingly lead you; and that you will love and support him or her. Embrace the future with hope. Continue to seek God with all your heart. Listen for the new thing God is doing among you. May God bless us all and bless this church in its ever-unfolding ministry.

Grace and Peace,

Reverend Ray Medeiros