by Jim Dant

ONE OF...the most difficult aspects of ending an era is doing things for the last time; it's a sobering self-awareness. I felt it several times during the final weeks of 2011. Knowing that I was being tugged in the direction of change, our annual Children's Sunday, Thanksgiving Communion, Hanging of the Green, Sundays of Advent, Christmas Eve Service, and Christmas Morning Service all had a bittersweet bend. In recent days, I've participated in my last Deacons meeting, Seekers in Sneakers event, Taize Service, and ordination council as your pastor. They may be passing moments for some, but they have been poignant moments for me... 

 

SEVERAL MORE...of these moments will meander my way in the coming days. Some will be private. On Sunday morning, February 12, I will follow a familiar routine for the last time as your pastor. I'll pull out my laptop at 8:00 a.m., review and revise the sermon, send it to the printer at 8:20, read it one more time in hard copy, fold the sheets and tuck them in my Bible....at 8:30. It's been clockwork for years. Other pending moments are less private; they are moments I hope you will engage and enjoy with me. Sunday morning, February 4 is Men's Day and Super Bowl Sunday; I'll be here. On Wednesday evening, February 8, I'll lead our midweek prayer service for the last time as your pastor. Sunday, February 12, will be my last day in the pulpit. During the morning service, I will lead in the service of communion - as your pastor - for the last time. During the evening service, we will celebrate the ordinance of baptism. These are all beautiful, bittersweet moments. I hope you'll share them with me...