Dear Friends,

July 1st marked the beginning of my eighth year as your pastor. I thank God for such a privilege and honor.

When I look back, there are so many milestones that I cherish: those who were single who transitioned to marriage; the births and baptisms; and the coming of age celebrations. Then I get more sentimental when I see confirmands who are now in college or have graduated. I recall the time when some of you were little youths below my shoulder level who now stand very tall and have become young adults.

It gives me great joy to see new members and new attenders participating in our church home. Yet at the same time I reflect upon the saints, whose lives we help to celebrate as God called them to life eternal, most recently Donna S. and Duane C. Their smiles and servanthood and sacrifice stick with me, and are a constant source of inspiration.

Other pleasures and treasures include: the anniversaries and birthday bashes; the house blessings; the hospital visits; and the countless times of sharing in meetings, meals, and other special occasions.

Moreover, I’m grateful for your companionship during my personal changes: for six years serving as your pastor as a bachelor; then that year of courtship and being engaged; and of course, Marlou and I will always be grateful to the whole congregation for ushering us to the altar and putting on a grand feast. To add further icing to the proverbial cake, our hearts were rekindled at our one-year anniversary celebration on June 30.

Marlou and I feel truly blessed as we look forward to more days of great joy, more births and baptisms, more memories and miracles, and transformations. May God’s grace and mercy continue to be upon us as we strive to discern God’s spirit moving in our church. May we be faithful in responding to God’s newness and the good surprises that await us.

— Pastor Bob