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The Wisdom of Pooh

As a child I loved Winnie the Pooh and I must admit, I still do as an adult. What comes across as simplistic is rather deep wisdom of Pooh Bear. How I wish I had his wisdom as I search for a way to tell you all what you have meant to me and my family these past five years.

I struggle to say all that I want to say to you, I am lost for words. Over these past five years Craig and I experienced your warm welcome. We experienced your unconditional love for us shown through stunning generosity and sincere care. You have shown love towards our families when they visited and when they took ill. You have stood with us, laughed with us, and wept with us. We could never have believed what the recipients of such grace could feel like.

Bishop Gohl said to me that “your first call will always be a sweet call.” I did not understand what he meant when he said this - but I do now. Thank you for taking a chance on calling a first call pastor and for making this call as special as you have.

You taught me what a church is supposed to be like, and you taught me how to be a pastor. I know I have said this before, but my worst day as a pastor is still far better than my best day in any other career I have held. Thank you for showing me what joy the ministry can bring.

On Sunday I said I never imagined that I would leave Chicago, yet here I am. Quickly we made Wilmington our home - and loved every moment of our lives here. I think that my heart will carry both places as we embark on our new adventure. This brings me to the hardest part, saying goodbye. Pooh said “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” The wisdom of Pooh is not to see the sadness, but to see the joy and be thankful for all that has happened.

I am truly thankful to you, for all you are and all you have done.

Goodbye is not really forever Pooh reminds us, so long as the forest is there and we are friendly with bears, he says. So let me say this instead of saying goodbye. Until we meet again, may God bless you and keep you, may God’s face shine upon you with grace and mercy, and may the peace of Christ always be yours.

In joy, love and gratitude, to you my dear friends,


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