One last time for a blog post here simply to say, THANK YOU.
Please remember, the fact that I am no longer one of your pastors does not, cannot, change all that you have meant to me.
You cared for me and our family in our lowest moments like when Joann's dad died and later when my dad died. The funerals for both our dads were right here.
You celebrated with me and our family in our best moments:
When Joann and I got married.
When first Josh and then Jacqueline were born.
(In 2007 I was here, in the sanctuary, during the visitation time prior to Austin Lutz’s funeral when I got the call that it was time for our daughter to be born and I needed to go to the hospital right now!)
When Josh and Jacqueline were baptized and later when they were confirmed.
You encouraged me when my faith waned. You picked me up and pushed me to go on when I was convinced the pastorate wasn’t for me. You drove all the way out to Davenport, Iowa to attend my Ordination service!
You, this congregation, this place, this Woodridge United Methodist Church, is interwoven into my story and into our family's story.
If there are any ways in which I am a useful or good or successful or faithful pastor, they are thanks to you.
To borrow the heart and wisdom and truth from a tremendous TV show...It has been said, "There's no place like home." And that's true. But it is also true that "There ain't a whole lot of places like Woodridge UMC either."
I love you all and nothing will ever change that.
THANK YOU for loving me and my family so well and for so long.