Six and a half years ago I moved to Michigan to answer a call to be the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Saint Clair.
Saint Clair is a beautiful small city bordering the Saint Clair River, a river known for its freighter traffic, powerful current and deep blue color because of the way it reflects the the sky. This has been the fastest six and a half years of my life, and a most rewarding time.
Ministry has been challenging as all ministry is. And it has been rewarding. By the middle of year two the church voted on an Open and Affirming Covenant. During my time here the congregation has found many ways to move outside the church and into the community to provide support to those in need. My task was simply to say yes, to offer encouragement, blessings and guidance, though guidance was rarely needed.
On December thirty-first I will have completed seven years of ministry at this most extraordinary United Church of Christ. I’ve made the decision and I’ve let the congregation know that at seventy, it’s time for me to step aside, to give someone else a chance to serve here.
It’s time for me to pack up all my belongings which will be no small task, I’ve filled the Parsonage and an office with decent furnishings, little bits of Oberlin to keep me from missing my family, and way too many books. I hate moving. And while I’ll hate leaving Saint Clair, I have missed being able to travel freely, visit with family and call on Oberlin friends for coffee meetings at The Local.