As I transition to a new season of life and ministry this week, I give thanks for the time I have spent as part of your community as a Sid and Cathy Batts Pastoral Resident for the past 15 months!
It has been a strange time to enter ordained ministry, with over half of my residency occurring in the midst of a global pandemic. This reality has reminded me again and again of my seminary’s “motto,” which I shared with you all in a sermon recently: nurturing imagination and resilience for God’s changing world.
This season of life at FPC has indeed called each of us to imagination and resilience as we navigate the changing landscape of community life during a pandemic and during a time of pastoral transition. I have been grateful to live out this strange season with your community, and I know that the fruits of this season will follow me into my new call as an associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Minneapolis.
I give thanks to God for the experiences I have had here at FPC – teaching, leading worship, engaging in pastoral care ministries, and many more – and I carry the memories of these formative months as I continue to grow and learn in ministry.
Thank you for welcoming me into your community, and thank you for continuing to invest in the formation of early-call pastors through your support of the pastoral residency program! These opportunities are few in the life of our denomination, and I feel grateful to have been part of the program here at FPC Greensboro.
I pray God’s blessing on your community as you enter a new season of pastoral leadership, and I pray that you would continue to engage in the hard work of pursuing justice and showing forth Christ’s love in this congregation and in the wider world.
I will leave you with a favorite prayer of mine, which we prayed every Friday in chapel when I was a student at St. Olaf College, and which I think speaks to the moment we are in as a community and as a world:
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.