Sunday, March 08, 2009

My Last Sunday at Jubilee

For those who prayed, thank you. Ken's and my last day at Jubilee went well and was a blessing. I will write a little about it. Just not today. :-) ((((Friends)))))

UPDATE:

Trying not to preach, and not being entirely successful...

Just a few things that stand out one day later:

Last week I discovered a pile of smelly dishcloths in the church kitchen. I took them home and we washed them, and as I put them in our car for taking to church yesterday, I smiled. I mean--fitting, eh?--a last little mundane job. On Saturday I baked the bread that we used for communion yesterday, and as I smelled it baking I prayed--I mean, what is more evocative than the aroma of bread baking?

The worship team and a few others always pray with me before service. Yesterday we went into the little prayer room earlier than normal. Instead of prayer there was a lot of silliness, laughter, joking....and then prayer. That was good!

It was nice to see a mostly full sanctuary. It was good to see my daughter singing with the worship team (for the first time), good to have people stand and applaud when I came to the platform (except it made me cry), good to look out over the congregation and see many people who have come to us during the past year, good to have one dear lady say, "I intended to visit to make my family member happy, and never come back. I'm here because of you." When I said, "You aren't leaving because I am, are you?" she said no. It was good to be aware of love and grace and mercy. It was good to see that well over half of those present were under forty. The flowers in the picture were for me, my favorite flower combo of yellow and blue.

It was good, and very difficult, to stand behind the altar table and prepare to share communion for the last time. Before we partook of the elements, Ken and I prayed individually for each person present. We tried to be brief, and we mostly were, but we shed a lot of tears (as did mostly everyone else). It took a while, and we did not get out of church on time, but no one seemed to mind. Since my sharing from the pulpit was relatively short, we did all right. Almost everyone hugged us; some prayed for us when we finished praying for them. I could not pray for some people (just too difficult) and by the grace of God Ken was able to do so. It was profoundly moving, especially praying for our wonderful young people and I soaked about six tissues.

Afterwards we went to the banquet room of a local restaurant. There were smiles and laughter, a lovely cake, a check from a "love offering" etc.

Yesterday someone gave me this candle. A note with it said, "This is to remind you that...God, working through you..., was able to turn a group of broken people into something beautiful. We love you."

I cannot think of anything more warming to a pastor's heart than that!

I still have to finish packing up my office. Ugh.

11 comments:

Betsy said...

Hugs to you, SO, for the memories of what I'm sure was a bittersweet day.

Auntie Knickers said...

I'm glad the day was a good one. It's always hard to leave. ((()))

nightmare said...

Glad things went somewhat smoothly and the day was good.

Iris said...

Praying for you as you pack and say "good-bye" to the office. Our Lord always has something really good for us right around the corner, so I am certain it is waiting for you. In the meantime, I would encourage you to rest, wait and watch in Him. He will make it plain.

Anonymous said...

Dear Singing Owl,
These fine folks who read your blog know your heart and are blessed by it...but I have been blessed by you and yours as a friend and I have been privledged to also call you Pastor.
Truly you may not know the full impact you have made on this motley crew that has made up Jubilee until you hear "Well done, good and faithfull servant".
I know that I am not alone when I say that you have impacted me with your knowledge, wisdom,zeal, and true love for GOD and His WORD,His Ways and your humility as you undertook your mantle for Him and for us...
Oh this is a bittersweet time,(yes Betsy) and much of the past has been also.
As sad as I am ,as sad as you are I wish you joy and peace. may you be comforted my friend in knowing that this too shall pass, to everything there is a season and that while sorrow is here for a night, joy will come in the morning.

Psalmist said...

(((((((((Sweet Sister Singing Owl)))))))

Singing Owl said...

Anonymous, you made me cry...in a good way.

Betsy, yes it was a bittersweet day, but mostly sweet in the long run. :-)

AK, I always hate leaving people, and my whole life has been more than I ever wanted of that leaving--or watching others leave. It seems that the plan for me has never been to put down my roots too deep. It is a very hard thing for me. It is joy to know that our good byes here need not be final!

Nightmare, I love you and your song made me laugh out loud.

Iris, your pryayers mean much to me. I know that I need to rest. The last few years have made me tired in many ways...so much loss. The difficult part is not having finances. God knows all these things. I read that Matt. passage this morning. :-)

truth said...

I don't know how you made it through the day. Your post has me in tears and I am not normally an emotional person.

Singing Owl said...

Aw, didn't mean to make you cry, Truth. :-)

Grace. That's how I made it through the day.

Grace and probably a fair bit of denial too. It really doesn't seem real yet. It feels more like I am leaving for a while and will be back. I'm not sure when it will be "real" that I'm not--nor how that will be. Ah, God's grace, once more, will be sufficient.

Wish I could visit you today. Feeling cold and lonesome...

Sally said...

(((Singing Owl ))))

zorra said...

What a day. ((((SO))))