Deborah Conner,
Interim Associate Pastor for Outreach

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve never met anyone who liked to say goodbye. Good riddance, maybe, but not goodbye. Many avoid goodbyes and just disappear without a word. But goodbyes are important. They give everyone a chance to end a chapter before a new one begins.

I spent a lot of my early life saying goodbye to friends because my father was a career Air Force officer. We moved on average every two years. One year we moved three times! We said a lot of goodbyes! I was thankful that I had a strong family and strong faith. And, while many of these goodbyes were hard and tears were shed, I will never regret having the chance to say goodbye. A chance many people never get.

Yesterday was a wonderful celebration of my time at First Presbyterian. It was a chance to say goodbye for all of us. I have been blessed by my ministry here for the past 15 months in expected and unexpected ways. You are a gracious congregation who welcomed me with open arms. I have had the opportunity to work with a great staff and serve with those who have dedicated themselves to Outreach ministry.

The Greensboro community is wonderful, and I have enjoyed working with many of the non-profit organizations the church supports and also with our unhoused neighbors who we serve a meal to every Tuesday and Thursday at Hot Dish & Hope. I have also enjoyed the hospitality of members who have opened their homes to me and let me know about their favorite restaurants (which now are some of mine!).

Thank you, First Presbyterian, for your energy and devotion, but especially for the love of Christ that you have extended to me. Thank you for a wonderful farewell reception and all your well wishes. As of July 1 I will be honorably retired as a Presbyterian minister. I am so thankful that I have had the privilege to finish this part of my ministry with all of you.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in the letter to the Philippians: I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel …

Blessings for the days ahead!