Someone recently asked me whether I was glad that the Interim Ministry at St. Paul’s was almost over, or if I was going to miss being the Interim Pastor. I answered, “Yes.”
I’m glad that St. Paul’s has progressed to the point in its history that it is ready for a new pastor, new leadership and new beginnings. I’m proud of St. Paul’s for all of the work it has accom-plished to prepare itself for this day. You now have an inspired mission statement; a renewed sense of stewardship; an endowment fund; policies to guide your work, and many newly acquired tools that can be used to keep St. Paul’s focused on its mission in Talbot County.
Your new pastor is coming to a most beautiful part of the world to serve a very deserving, talent-ed and committed group of people. I know that you will welcome Pastor Skillbred with open arms, open minds and open hearts. And I know that she will delight in getting to know each of you.
While I am glad that St. Paul’s has called a new pastor, I also have to admit that I will miss serv-ing you very much. When Bishop Herz-Lane first asked me to take on this ministry, my initial re-action was a twinge of resentment that my just-beginning retirement was going to be interrupted. However when I met with the Council for the first time and heard your story, I immediately felt a Calling to serve in this place. I’m truly grateful to have been your pastor and journey with you these past two years.
We have shared together our joy and grief, our tears and laughter, our difficult conversations and our victory celebrations. Unfortunately we had quite a few funerals. We met each other at the County Fair, the Cordova Parade, the Fire Company Fair, and at Rice’s Country Store. We have had baptisms, new members, a wedding, and eaten many meals together. Truly, I’ll miss you.
Thank you all very much for this opportunity to have been part of St. Paul’s and the Cordova community. Never doubt that in the years to come, God’s blessings will be with you and Pastor Skillbred. Our forbearers passed some advice along to us. They thought it so important that they wrote their words over the altar so that we will not forget them. This statement of faith is the final thought that I want to commend to you. God bless you and, “Trust in God.”
Sincerely in Christ, Pastor Thom