Greetings all in the name of Christ!
Well, this is it – my very last weekly column to all of you! I have been the pastor at Grace UMC since July 1, 2014. If the Internet is to be believed, that was 2,542 days ago and my goodness what a time it has been. Grace UMC was my first solo appointment, and I’ll remain forever grateful for your grace and forgiveness as I learned how to lead a church. I’m excited to start my third appointment at Pollard UMC in Tyler, but I will miss each and every one of you. From construction projects to infant baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals, we’ve been through a lot together. Abby and I even brought our son home from the hospital to the parsonage just across the street from where I write this column. Grace is a special place with special people. Know that, while we’re moving nearly 200 hundred miles away, part of our hearts will always remain here at Grace in the Heights.
This Sunday, for my final sermon, I’m going to preach a sermon entitled, “One Last Time.” The title comes from a song in the Broadway show, “Hamilton.” In the show, President George Washington is serving in his second term as the first U.S. president, and he tells his protégé and good friend, Alexander Hamilton, that he will not be running for a third term. The precedent that Washington set of serving only two terms would last until President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran for and was elected to a third and then even a fourth term as President over 135 years later. After FDR’s death in 1945, the US Congress passed the 27th amendment to the Constitution stating that no person may ever serve more than two terms as president. As Washington is telling Hamilton this news, Hamilton tries to talk him out of it, but Washington would hear nothing of it. He orders Hamilton to draft an address to the nation outlining his decision to retire and wants Hamilton to put details in the speech that he would like to tell the nation “one last time” as their president. This Sunday, I’ll be making an attempt to do the same thing. I’ve discussed a great deal of theology, polity, and scripture from the pulpit of Grace UMC, but there is one overarching theme that I’ve tried to include in almost every one of the more than 300 sermons that I’ve preached here. And this Sunday, I’ll focus in on that theme “one last time.”
I hope you’ll make an effort to be present this Sunday as my family and I bid you farewell.
See you this Sunday in the GRACE IS EVERLASTING place.
Yours in Christ,