In our United Methodist tradition, the Bishop appoints clergy on an annual basis, in hopes of providing great leadership for every church – and leadership that fits the needs of each congregation. Most in our churches are aware of and used to this; however, changes in clergy leadership are never easy. One way to work through the natural grief process is to celebrate the legacy of those who are departing. As part of the pastoral team, we give thanks for the leadership of Bob and Chad and celebrate some pieces of your legacies.
Bob, you helped us to see that we are truly all multi-lingual: we can all speak and hear God’s grace and words through technology, visual arts, and even rock’n’roll. You challenged us to look outside our churches’ walls and see both a mission field and a place of revelation. Chad, you taught us the power contained in a few bolts of fabric and instilled in us a desire to see God through silent displays of creativity. You led us to deeply connect with many in our world, both near and far, for the sake of spreading grace and life in Christ.
Both of you provided visionary leadership through our recent transitions into a parish of two churches, and we’re healthier for your service. You led with fitting amounts of grace and prophetic boldness. You shared your lives, your families, and your hearts with us. Thank you.
May these things be part of the legacy that Bob and Chad leave behind in us, which we will carry forward for the benefit of UM4GI and the world. May they be part of the legacy they will form in their new contexts of ministry. And may the ministry and leadership of Darren and Karla form equally impactful and lasting legacies in us for the future.