Now, not only is the sermon done, I’m done. I’m done being a pastor.
“Bittersweet” hardly describes my feelings. I’ve had a wonderful ministry that has stretched across not only 34 years, but across Texas. It’s not always been easy, but it’s been good. God has been with me and I’ve been honored to share ministry with so many wonderful Methodist Christians, like you. I leave with a heart filled with love and appreciation. Thank you for allowing me to be your pastor. As the old preacher writes in Ecclesiastes 3:
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
It’s time for me to retire. It’s a good thing for me and I believe a good thing for Oak Hill. I’d like to think that I’ve shepherded you through some difficult times these past few years. Now it’s time for you to press on to new ministries and new growth. I’m happy that Pastor Stephen has been appointed here. He is a great teacher and preacher and leader. He knows how to grow a church. His 12 year ministry at Spring Creek UMC near San Antonio has been fruitful. He’s rock solid.
The best is yet to be. I’ll be preaching on Abraham and Isaac this Sunday. A complex, tragic, amazing story.