Let me take this opportunity, on behalf of Paulette and myself, to say “Thank you!” in writing to Pastor Jay, our Elders, and to the people of our beloved Greater Portland Bible Church for the spectacular and gracious dinner party in early June, for the generous financial gifts, and for the three-month summer sabbatical. We are both honored and humbled by your love and affection for us— and we are still reveling in it!
Perhaps the word ‘sabbath’ is better than ‘sabbatical’ for the last three months. We enjoyed a summer of sabbath. We were able to take the time to delight in each other and in the Creator and his creation. The highlights for us, and there were many, included a breathtaking road trip through the rugged and beautiful canyon lands of southern Utah and then on to Santa Fe to do some digging into Paulette’s ancestry (which I hope to tell you more about the next time I preach), a few delightful days at the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, visits to several other churches, and actually finishing a few home projects that have been in process for two years. We ended the summer relaxed and refreshed and ready to move into the next chapter of our lives and ministry. It convinced me again that everyone needs a sabbath.
So, as of last week, I’m back on the job. My new role includes directing our Global Partners ministry, working with Jay and others to develop a comprehensive discipleship and leadership development strategy, preaching some, and stepping up involvement in pastoral care and shepherding.
I also need to tell you, without a competitive bone in my body, that after visiting several other churches, my appreciation and affection for the people and leadership of GPBC has grown. I sense something good among us, in our community, that seems absent in many other churches of our genre. I’m not sure I can even put it into words, but I know it has something to do with the high value we place on keeping Jesus at the center of everything. We need to keep doing that.
See you Sunday,