I find myself in a unique place in life.  It is a life between two chapters.  The first chapter is that of 11 and one-half years of ministry at Willamina and the second is that which will open in three weeks as I enter into the period we call retirement.

I know what the first chapter is and the things "written" in it, the next remains to have the first words written

There is some difficulty found in closing my chapter at WCC. There are so many things that have happened in the course of my time here.  I came a stranger and outsider and now find myself leaving as a part of a community that has challenged at times and inspired at others.  The chapter is filled with so many photos of individuals with whom I have connected and whose paths have intersected, in the church and in the community.  I have been witness to many changes in our community in the churches and the town itself.  In so many ways Willamina has become part of me and has become my home.  I will miss my involvement with the church, the chamber, and the fireboard along with the high school activities we attended.

The next chapter will find us living in Cottage Grove, a community we called home for 20+ years before coming to Willamina.  Yet, I am not going back as a pastor of a church but simply a member of the community with no particular identity or role to fill.  I know I will get to be a grandpa to my grandsons, and see my kids more than I have in years.  But where will I fit?  What will I do? All of that remains to be seen.

Along with the uncertainty about my future, there are concerns for the church family I am leaving.  I pray that God brings them the right man to lead them where He has in mind for them to go.  I am praying that those who were so faithful during my time here will remain faithful and supportive of the next man who fills the office.  What will happen to the church in the time following my moving away?

The answers to these and many other questions haven't been revealed to me but the one thing I do know that this is God's Church, God's people, and I am His child.  With that fact comes an unwavering trust in Him to do what is right and best for everyone involved.

Thank you for a great 11 years.  I will be praying for the church and our community as I hope you will pray for Delores and me.



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