Three years ago our church welcomed a new pastor. The new pastor was new to the church. He was not new to me.
Max and I became friends during seminary. We gravitated toward each other because of a shared love of good coffee, deep laughs and the zing that is life in community. Max visited my family in Duluth, and when I heard about my move to Richfield, it was Max who hosted me and my family as we looked for a new home.
So when it became real that he was going to be appointed here at Richfield, I was excited for the church to partake of his goodness and light.
It has been three years of enjoying his voice in song and leadership, his great ability to connect with people and the ring of his laugh.
And, he is moving to pastor a church excited to receive him.
Tomorrow, on Pentecost Sunday, we will bless him on his way. We will worship and hear him preach and share a meal together in fine UM pot-luck style (only one English-speaking service tomorrow at 9:00; the Vietnamese service will be at its usual 11:15 time in the sanctuary).
Poet Anne Sexton wrote that “The joy that isn’t shared dies young”. The joy we have shared whilst in the company of Max will bless this church into its future. It has a life that will sparkle the air for always.
So we pray traveling mercies and gratitude for joy shared; taken into heart and unloosed through our own willingness to live light and love and our intention to share the communion of joy so often as ever we can.