Sunday, April 27, 2008

Congregation Update

Today was the last day at Triune. Three people said a quick goodbye to me. One tried to give a fond farewell, but it was hard to hear her say that 17 years was a good long time to have been there. (She happens to be married to one of the guys who wanted Gary fired, but she has never spoken for or against the situation.) I thanked her for her good wishes but also responded that 17 years is a whole lot shorter than 50 which is when I thought we'd be leaving.

And then there were the others. Many didn't say goodbye or anything. Granted, they may have been uncomfortable and unsure of what to say. Then there was the small group that is distressed about all this, the ones who were so upset to find out this winter what's been going on with regard to the pastor's pay and the upkeep on the parsonage, the ones who love their pastor and have been genuinely interested in how the kids and I are doing with the move and the changes. Those were the difficult goodbyes.

Then one of the guys in the congregation asked us to go out for dinner with him and his wife and his mother-in-law. That was nice. Then back home [old home, that is] to load up the car with more boxes, and the rest of the day spent doing more unpacking and more deck-undoing (for the pool removal).

We keep the people in Rockford in our prayers as they go through changes in pastoral leadership, desiring to hang onto the liturgy and faithful preaching.

I would guess (but haven't asked to verify) that Gary picked out today's hymns before he knew that this would be his last Sunday. (He usually picks out hymns about 2-3 months in advance.) I thought it was extremely appropriate that the final words sung with him as pastor were:

To them the cross with all its shame,
with all its grace, is given.
Their name an everlasting name,
their joy the joy of heaven.

They suffer with their Lord below,
they reign with Him above,
their profit and their joy to know
the mystery of His love.

The cross He bore is life and health,
though shame and death to Him:
His people's hope,
His people's wealth,
their everlasting theme.

As long as the cross is their hope, their wealth, their everlasting theme, then all will be well with the people at Triune. And the people at Reformation.


  1. I haven't been 'computering' for the last bit and was sorry to see this post. God bless you all and the former congregation as well.

  2. I know I already miss his faithful preaching! I know that Reformation folks care about what they are fed. However, I miss the good food already :) I will probably miss the good food of my own pastor as church options in the area to which I'm moving aren't great. I might just have to drive to WI....