Dear one:

My time with this congregation is coming to a close. I have so appreciated learning with you and being trusted by you, in times of unprecedented and great changes for this congregation. A time of reflection is called for as we process this year, this pandemic, huge traumas, ministerial changes and so much more. I know change is hard and in pandemic, we have had nothing but change. We had no choice but to move through change, as it is the only way.

And yet, in change, is where we birth new life. I am excited to see where you all grow to.

What a gift you are to this community. Thank you for your gifts. Please keep engaging and sharing those.

My last day and last service is Sunday, July 31. The service is going to be amazing. Ruben and I have been planning this for a couple of months. I have had this sermon in mind for years. I am so excited that so many talented folks will be joining us Sunday.

The picnic sounds like great fun. Join us with a dish to pass and what you need to be comfortable outdoors.

Thank you to the Staff, Board, Committees, and all of you who made this ministry memorable. I have learned so much and I will not forget you.

As I journey on to Interim Ministry, I will be seeing Rev. Stoneberg. She is a very kind person and one who also wants the best for you. I am glad you have this partner to take your next steps with. I wish you and her so very much love and luck. I hope you have an amazing interim period.

The Pastoral Care team will now be co-led by Mary Wierman and Mark Steinberg. You will ask them for referrals for listeners.

If you need future support, please seek it. This is a wonderfully caring and resourceful community. We are not meant to do this work alone.

In the past 17 months, folks have talked with me about theological questions, dilemmas about your worries, and wonders. Folks have shared with me struggles with identity, conflict, history, health, emotional difficulties, issues of major life decisions, assistance in supporting your spiritual growth, asking for resources for your struggles with addiction, loved ones, loss, death, loneliness, LGBTQ, racism, financial struggles, parenting, and topics close to your hearts. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability and in some cases, that of your children’s trust, with me. It has been my honor to learn with you and be trusted by you. Thank you from the depth of my heart.

Underdogs in Contemporary Broadway Musicals will be a sermonic musical extravaganza. We also have WONDERFUL services planned for the rest of summer. You are in for many more treats. See you Sunday with your clapping hands, your dish to pass, and all your picnic accoutrement.

With warmth and gratitude,

Reverend Denise

P.S. Please keep up YOUR Spiritual Practices – even if you need to do them pathetically.