Mike and I had a unique opportunity Wednesday. We met the new pastor and his wife, Kevin and Joyce. We did not know either one of them as most of Kevin's ministry has been in the southern part of Indiana. They were in Fishers for a few days making arrangements for the home they are building. Mike and I took them to a morning meeting at the church, where they had some time to get to know the staff.
The semi-annual fish/chicken fry also happened to be going on Wednesday evening. So Mike and I decided that if Kevin and Joyce wanted to meet us at 5:00 pm, we would take them to each table and introduce them around. They thought that was a good idea so for an hour and a half, we went from table to table. The four of us didn't sit down until after 7:30.
Mike and I were talking later that evening about how nice it was to let everyone meet Joyce and Kevin. The informal setting allowed Mike to tell stories or relate interesting facts as he made the introductions. I don't know how much Kevin and Joyce will remember, but that is not important. Because they were able to hear remarks like, "We've been praying for you." and "We're excited you are coming." They were able to capture the welcoming spirit of those gathered and to sense the anticipation for new energy and ideas.
How was the experience for me? Well, at times I felt sad as I realized that this is the beginning of the end. I knew that there may not be another chance to see some of these persons, because they attend another service or they may not be able to attend the reception planned for us at the end of June. I heard lots of affirmation and support for Mike's ministry as well as a few comments for myself. And I sense that there is lots of growing that I still need to do before we finally say good-bye. So I am trusting God to care for me and direct my paths.
God, I know that the church will benefit from the new gifts and energy that Kevin and Joyce will bring. I treasure the comments that persons made to Mike and me while we were host and hostess to these new friends. Keep us seeking you at all times. Amen.