It’s hard to believe that this will be my last newsletter article as your interim pastor for the second time! Between my two times of serving as your interim pastor, I have been with you for almost three years. That may be a longer time than some of your regular pastors!
Since I will only be here one more week, I will not write about upcoming events. I will reflect on my time here with you. I have felt a great affection for this church and its people. You have been unerringly kind to me, listened graciously to my sermons, and teased me almost as
much as I have teased you.
I believe in this church and its potential. We all want to see this church grow and thrive under the new pastor’s leadership. I believe it can because this church has great resources.
The facility is simply amazing. What a wonderful gift to have such a lovely building with so much well-maintained space available to the church and to the community without any debt! The building is a testimony to your faithfulness. The board and property team have maintained this building as well as any I have ever seen. The growth of this church will not be limited by the building.
The endowment is another great resource. What an amazing gift that is! Thanks to sound investment strategies and policies this fund will only grow and continue to benefit this congregation… well… forever! Just think of that! The endowment speaks of the church’s wonderful
history. This church has provided such ministry to individuals in the past that they have committed their wealth to the financial future of this church. They loved this church like we do, and they put their treasure into permanent funds. And this church continues to be a generous church with tithes and offerings.
The leadership of this church is outstanding, both paid and volunteer. I have a deep trust and confidence in every one of the paid staff members. During my three years of total service I have worked with five board chairs, executive committees and boards. This church has solid, capable and willing leadership. They take their responsibilities seriously and give their best efforts on behalf of this church. I don’t believe I have ever seen this church make a bad administrative decision.
This church has a heart for outreach. Every time this church sees a need, it rises to the occasion. Just recently, we have seen the church give 72 backpacks for school children, a bus load and another car load of supplies for Eastern Kentucky, and we have about ten people interested in the adult mission trip to Western Kentucky in September. Soups On Us is an amazing ministry with many dedicated volunteers. And the financial contributions to a variety of outreach causes in the past few years has been wonderful.
This church cares for and about one another. This church is not about performance as much as it is about relationships. Many have said that the church is not the building, and I certainly believe that. The church is the people and their love for God and one another. Most of the people in the pews on Sunday were here loving God and loving one another on the first day I came here seven years ago. A few of the members have been in this church for their whole, long lives! There is a wonderful stability about this community and the members of this church. You have seen the ups and downs, and you are still here, doing everything you can to continue the grand traditions of this
church. You have learned the real value of the term I have always used for my newsletter column - Life Together.
I love this church like you do. I will watch you lovingly from a distance. I will pray for you and for this church. I will be interested in your successes. I will be proud of you. I will miss being your pastor, but yes, it is time for me to retire for the third time. As hard as it is for me and for you, I will maintain proper boundaries so that you can love your next pastor like you have loved me.
In conclusion, I will quote Paul from 1 Timothy 4:7-8:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,
will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing."
Dr. Mickey Anders
Interim Sr. Minister
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