Some of you have already approached me to ask me some questions about this move, and I’m happy to meet with anyone. Here are answers to some common questions…
Yes, this move puts me closer to loved ones and family, though puts me further away from others.
Yes, I was looking to move back to the north, but I hadn’t anticipated this timing. This all happened much faster than I had expected and caught me, as well as you, by surprise.
Yes, I feel very good about this move. I think I have gifts in ministry very specific to the ministry of Bayfield Presbyterian Church.
Yes, I have a place to live up in Bayfield, just a couple blocks from the church. It’s a quaint house owned by a couple of teachers who are moving to Switzerland to teach for the year.
Yes, Marisa, the woman I’ve been dating who lives in Duluth, is a big reason I’m moving to Bayfield. No, we’re not getting married. One thing at a time. Who are you? My mother?
Yes, Bayfield is a bit less than 2 hours from Duluth, so it’s a reasonable drive to go see my son, Simon, who is entering his senior year of college there, and it’s about 4 hours from Minneapolis, where my daughter, Emma, lives.
No, I can’t come back and officiate a wedding, funeral, baptism, etc. When a pastor leaves a church, they have to make room for the next person, and it’s inappropriate to keep popping up in the life of a congregation you’ve left.
No, I can’t continue to give pastoral advice or counseling once I’ve left.
No, I can’t continue to advise the session or the congregation or members of the congregation in any capacity or take any public or private leadership role in the congregation.
I know these last few items might seem harsh, but every pastor agrees to these things when he or she leaves a congregation for the good of the congregation, the outgoing pastor, the incoming pastor, and the presbytery. These boundaries make roles clear and help the congregation look forward, not backward.
I hope we get a chance to say good-bye in person over the next couple weeks. I’ll be available, as usual, during drop-in hours at the church, coffee hours around town, and by phone or by appointment.
My time here at Greensburg First has been a blessing to me and I hope it has been for you as well.
Yours in Christ,