Hi, this is Kim (known as Kim M. in the office), and I am the Communications Director at Pearce. This week I’m taking over Pastor Wally’s Dangling Conversation. Actually, Pastor Wally is enjoying a couple of days of vacation with Mary, so you will be left dangling this week. Not to worry, he has promised to send out a new issue next Thursday, August 29!
We did feel it was important to let you know about a piece of mail that was sent out to members of Pearce on Tuesday. Please read the letter below (you’ll notice that it was actually written by Pastor Wally!).
Dear Member of Pearce Church,
I am writing with a deep sense of appreciation for the ministry of Pastor Harold Scott, our church’s Associate Pastor for Community Care. He is a highly valued member of our pastoral team and continues to serve our church and community with a joyous spirit and a wonderful sense of God’s gracious presence.
I imagine that you have speculated, as I have, as to when Pastor Harold will decide to retire from full-time pastoral ministry. After all, he has served faithfully for many years. He is, I believe, Pearce’s longest serving full-time associate pastor! Pastor Harold first came on staff in April, 1992 and served until September, 1997. After a sojourn in his native land of Canada, Pastor Harold returned to Pearce’s pastoral team on June 1, 2001. I cannot begin to tabulate the number of pastoral calls, hospital visits, or phone calls Pastor Harold has made during his time in North Chili. He has touched many lives with his caring presence and his clear confidence in God’s provision for each and every individual.
The good news is that, for now, Pastor Harold will remain a highly valued member of our pastor team. The sad news is that he will continue to serve in his present role only until June 1, 2014. On that date, our esteemed pastor, and my dear colleague, will retire from active pastoral service.
You may wonder why I am writing to you, regarding this development, nine months in advance of Pastor Harold’s retirement. I hope you realize, I am in no way anxious for his departure. In fact, it is the other way around; I feel a bit of anxiety when I contemplate his retirement! However, the search for a new member of our pastoral team must be conducted soon. The Personnel Committee of the Official Board will work with me to identify and interview qualified candidates. I hope to have a new Associate for Community Care by next May. I appreciate your prayers as we move through this process: both for our church and for Pastor Harold and Ginny, as they anticipate this life transition.
I asked Pastor Harold to include a few brief lines for this letter. He wrote: I am deeply grateful for the privilege of serving in ministry among you for eighteen years. These have been wonderful years of fulfillment in my ministry to the Lord. Ginny and I have appreciated how you have embraced us with love and acceptance and Pearce Church will always hold a special place in our hearts. This is year 40 in my ministry journey and we both feel it is time to retire. We look forward to a slower pace of life with more time to spend with our children and grandchildren.
Thank you for your support of our pastoral team as we anticipate this significant time of transition. I am confident that our gracious Lord will continue to supply the needs of our congregation.
Pastor Wally Fleming
Lead Pastor, Pearce Church