Dear siblings in Christ,
A year ago on Pentecost Sunday, I led worship for the first time with you, the dear community of faith at Swift Presbyterian. That morning I talked about hope and wondered what wonderful things the Spirit has in store for the sweet church in the piney woods. Over the past year we have indeed seen the Spirit at work in our lives and our community. For this we are both grateful and hopeful. Just a month ago, I committed to continuing the journey for another year as your interim minister. Unfortunately, life and circumstances can often interrupt our plans.
This is a very difficult letter to write to a family whom Denise and I have come to know and love as we have journeyed together through this threshold time. I sincerely intended to be present throughout the process until the PNC found the pastor whom God has already chosen to lead Swift Church into an awesome future. Regretfully however, my dad’s health has come to the point where he needs me to be more readily available and present with and for him. Denise and I cannot thank you enough for your continued prayers for my dad George and for us during this time. Just like Swift, we find ourselves on a threshold, but we know that God is with us, and God is with you. Because I want the best for Swift Church and for my dad, and I cannot give 100 percent to both I have asked the personnel committee and session to accept my resignation.
Just because we will not be there physically, know that each one of you are in our hearts and our prayers as we all continue to journey through our threshold times. Daily we will thank God as we consider all of the gifts and the blessings that you have to offer the community. My hope for each of you and for the congregation as a whole is that you will join us in daily affirmations of the gifts that Swift Church has been given in order to spread God’s love throughout the community and far beyond.
Dear Swift Church, in closing, I want to affirm once more who you truly are. Striving to bring God joy, you proclaim Christ’s love and grace through serving and nurturing body, mind, and soul. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us, wherever he may send us. May he guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm. May he bring us home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown us. May he bring us home rejoicing, once again through his doors.
Pastor Michael and Denise