You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. People do not light a lamp and put it under the bushel basket; rather, they put it on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16
Well, news of Pastor’s retirement has, not surprisingly, been met with a host of emotions. I myself am very sad for us but certainly very happy and excited for her as she enters this next phase of her life. As I told her, I highly recommend retirement.
I am also very proud of our church family here at Resurrection. The Sunday of her announcement, numerous people came up to me and expressed their support for me and the Council as we move through the months ahead. I was overwhelmed by the sentiment that WE are the church. Certainly, Pastor has been our guiding force for the past 20 years. We are forever grateful for that and will miss her deeply. However, my heart is uplifted by the numerous folks that have expressed in one way or another that this is something we will work through together and come out on the other side strong. I am reminded of the very popular Confirmation verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through the power of the one who strengthens me”. But I am also reminded of the Gospel lesson from the Sunday of our annual meeting where, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his followers by calling them salt and light.
Each of us will continue to need time to process our feelings. But we too are salt – the best that we can be, people of great kindness, and reliability. I have no doubt we will be here for one another. Lifting one another up when needed and stepping in to help when needed to continue to do ministry together. I am confident these things will occur because we too are light. We are a community committed to; celebrating God’s love, growing in our love for Jesus, and sharing that love with each other and the world. It is who we are. It is who we have been for decades. We are the church that celebrates grace, worships together, nurtures each other and reaches out. Our light gives light for all to see, so that others may see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven. I have no doubt WE will continue to be that church.