Well, today was my last Sunday at Faith Church. Of course, it couldn't go too smoothly... that would be too easy. Since the pastor of the church had his last Sunday last week, and the new pastor has her first Sunday next week - I was to preach and lead the service on my last day. No problem. I actually really like leading worship every now and then!
But. This congregation is still getting used to having everything throughout the service on a power point presentation - as I went to hook things up this morning, we found that the password had been changed on the computer... and we didn't have it. We tried and tried - but we had a technical difficulty. All of the "participatory" prayers and readings would now be just me (and the few people who had large print bulletins - they have all the words printed. Way to speak up today, people!). Good grief.
Other than that, things went nicely. We acknowledged all the dads, grand-dads, uncles, step-dads, god-dads, and all the men who had made a difference in a child's life - they stood, we cheered! The kids and I had fun with a children's sermon - pretending we were in Jesus' boat when the storm came and Jesus told it to hush (I even had a kid pretend to be the sleeping Jesus - he loved that!). John sang a beautiful song. We got to do some of my favorite hymns. I preached on David and Goliath - which ended up feeling like a perfect fit to talk to the congregation about the challenges ahead (and God's faithfulness in the midst of them). We even ended with a lovely benediction tune (May You Run and Not Be Weary). It was nice. It flowed. It all felt "right" for all of the transitions for the congregation and for me.
Judy and this year's confirmands stood up to say a few things about me - kind words, touching words, gifts, and hugs. It felt weird to be finally experiencing this last day... It seemed it would never actually come.
After the service, there was a cake, more cards, more gifts, hugs, and some tears. It was nice to feel appreciated - and hard to say good-bye, especially since I'll still be in the neighborhood!
Thank you, Faith Church - for a sometimes challenging, but wonderful experience in your midst. I have loved each of the youth I have worked with and befriended, each of their parents and the support they offered, and the leaders who have always been there to encourage and back me up. God has taught me many lessons in this place - and I will definately carry them with me as I go. Blessings on you and your ministry - now and always!
Things I am thankful for today:
1. My DAD!
2. My grandpas - I miss them everyday.
3. Faith Church and all the lessons I have learned through them.
4. The youth of Faith Church - their hugs and kind words today. They always make me smile!
5. John's song during worship today - it was wonderful!
6. Brant's organ and piano playing today - he does such a nice job, and is so flexible and willing to go with the flow! (And did I mention, he plays BEAUTIFULLY!)
7. The hubby comes home tonight!
8. A cool breeze coming through my windows!
9. I received a silver cross necklace from the congregation today - so simple and pretty!
10. Feeling ready to move forward.