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FAREWELL MESSAGE FROM PASTOR LOU:
Dear Brothers and Sisters at Messiah,
Kristine and I wish to thank you for a spectacular farewell worship and celebration. As several folks also noted, there was no perfect time for everyone to attend our rescheduled worship. We are sad if you missed it. Due to the snow on January 13th and our family emergency, we did not get to say a personal goodbye to many which we regret. Trust, we love each and every one of you, and you will be missed.
Although it is inappropriate (if not unhealthy) for me to comment on your congregation’s policies or provide pastoral care to you, trust that we will be glad to hear of your occasional personal news through calls, cards or emails over the coming years. It is a small Lutheran world, and I am sure we will see some of you at Synod events. We will also look forward to our Messenger each month. With you, we look forward to what’s next at Messiah.
In the end, the Feast of the Conversion of Paul, the conclusion to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, proved both symbolically and practically a wonderful date for our formal farewell. Symbolically, ecumenism is an issue near and dear to my heart since my time serving with the Ecumenical Community of Taizé. Further, Messiah and All Souls Episcopal have come so far together, and we have developed many other ecumenical connections over the years. On a practical level, gathering on Friday evening allowed for many neighbors to come from the local community: public and non-profit agencies, local church leaders and friends. Amidst tears, there was much joy, and their presence reminded me that God has and will continue to do something through our opening hearts to others.
As I close, I want to thank you for your open hearts over the years. You have blessed us and the community richly. I have been honored to share in your journey, both at times of grief and at times of joy. Your beautiful gift to me is already proudly displayed in my new office at Christ (Fredericksburg), and I look forward to digging into the Martin Luther book by Eric Mataxas soon. We have been blessed over and over again, in good times and bad, through our Christian friendship. You will remain a family of faith for us, and we will give thanks to our God every time we think of you (which will be often).
We remain in communion with you and bless you. With much love,