FINDING HOMES FOR MY VALUED STUFF
For forty-plus years now my belief pertaining to generous gifts given to me by gracious church members and friends is to display them proudly on the walls of my office and on the adjoining shelves. If you have ever been in my office over the past years you can see how many donations have been received and how generous people have been. I appreciate these items and for a sentimental person who may someday wind up on an episode of Hoarders, I have come to realize that I simply need to pass some of these items on. Most of these treasures have a story and many have precious names attached to them. Some of you probably observed me with a Sharpie in hand labeling many of these items when they were presented to me.
It occurred to me this morning during my 3 am ponderings that I am simply going to box these items up and place them in a storage shed or my garage only to be discovered when my kids throw all my stuff away when I die. I know that sounds heartless but I discovered this when I distributed the treasures my parents had gained through the years and my brother, sister, and I were forced, due to time constraints storage issues, and busy schedules, to allocate their possessions to some places that did not appreciate their significance. I did however try to get as much stuff as I could into appreciative hands.
Having said all of this I would now like to make a request of my church family. First I would like to say thank you for your gifts through the years. For the past eleven years, I have found peace, comfort, and encouragement in your most gracious offerings. They were given with a sense of love and appreciation and were received in a like manner and if you permit me, I would like to return them or give them to those who may appreciate them. In other words, I want to pass them on with a story or a name if possible.
Call me as soon as possible to retrieve your gift(s) or to make them available to those who may appreciate these items. Or just stop by this week and I will show you around and see if there is something in the inventory that interests you. If you like it I will call the giver and perhaps tell you a story!
NOW FOR THE HARD PART
For the past eleven years, I have shared with you my feelings and beliefs concerning God the father, God the Son/Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. I have made sure in the process that you have been made aware of just how special, how appreciated, and how loved you are.
One of the most intimidating things I encountered when I came to Poplar Springs was the weekly newsletter. I was accustomed to writing a monthly article in my prior ministry positions and I wasn’t quite sure if I could have something of significance to say on a weekly basis. I found that God provided on most occasions and when He let me struggle a little I could always talk about how much I love and appreciate GOOD OLD POPLAR SPRINGS. You are a tremendously gracious and loving congregation and I can say without hesitation that I have thoroughly enjoyed being your pastor and I plan (Lord willing, congregation willing, future pastor willing, and staff willing ) to be an appreciative and cooperative member of Poplar Springs in the days ahead.
I do feel that God was in our pairing and it has been evidenced by the wonderful cooperation and love we have experienced over the past eleven years. I cannot fairly and equitably name names so I will simply say THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU.