Church Life, Mystic Sweet Communion

Small Church Farewell


  Small Church Farewell 
  Originally uploaded by msongbird.

At the end of the service today, after the closing hymn but just before we passed the peace (our practice just before the Benediction each week), the leaders of Small Church came forward to say a few words and to present me with this beautiful image of the sanctuary, created from fabric scraps used in a series of banners over the past two years. I wish you could see its full, three-dimensional beauty. The circle over the altar is a beautiful stained glass window portraying the young Jesus. The little squares of blue on the pews in the foreground are the new hymnals dedicated just a few months ago.

The goodbye was sweet. The Conference staff person who met with the church council this past week affirmed our years together and spoke with great and convincing hope of their future. I suppose a person could say a few things about the burden on smaller churches to meet the standard for paying benefits and wonder why such a progressive denomination couldn’t be a little more cooperative in making it possible for smaller churches to afford fulltime pastoral coverage.

But today we truly shared a love feast as people came forward for Communion, each of us called by name, just as Jesus in the gospel lesson this morning. They are surely God’s Beloved Sons and Daughters, those wonderful people at Small Church. I give thanks for the time we had together and pray that God will bless them on the way.

(You can find my parting words here.)

27 thoughts on “Small Church Farewell”

  1. tears and hugs – I know it is so very hard to leave. Blessings on your new journey – can’t new be so very frightenting and exciting all at the same time!!!

  2. Oh, that’s just wonderful. When my dad left the church he’d led for more than 12 years, he was given a painting of the sanctuary that still has pride of place in their dining room. I love looking at it … it brings back so many happy memories.

  3. Love you, and your words. Well done. Now prayers and blessings for the new phase of your ministry which begins today. xx((Songbird))xx

  4. I am blown away by the image! What meaning it must have for you….and the labor of love that went into it. I know they will miss you so much.

  5. What a beautiful good-bye to you and to your congregation. Goodbyes are often difficult but laced with grace.
    May God walk with you into your new ministry.
    I hope you’ve taken a bit of time off to transition and catch your breath.

  6. Your sermon is beautiful. I’m so glad I could read it.
    Blessings to you on your new adventure.
    Take time for yourself, remember.

  7. I just went over to read your sermon … and it was lovely. It was also wonderfully pertinent for my home church, which is suffering through a rocky patch at the moment. But we will get through … God is with us.

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