September 26, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
As you may or may not know I am entering retirement and much more quickly than I had planned. The Bishop has given me many options among them leave and retirement now. He is well aware of my health situation. Sunday September 23rd was my last Sunday among you and actually since that day and today there have been four more doctor appointments as they attempt to get my blood pressure down to a safe level.
I shall miss you. I shall miss being your pastor. I will be on leave for two months and at the parsonage during that time if you wish to speak to me. Then I will enter retirement.
They are already preparing my possessions for sale as I will be taking little into retirement. I will be travelling. I have to make decisions about what to beep and what to cast away.
As I looked at my binoculars and my bird books, I pondered, “Should I keep them?” Then I thought “Yes I will keep them.” And I hope that you will imagine me somewhere in this beautiful country of ours zeroing in on some wild life species that I have never seen before and singing “How Great Thou Art.” I will imagine you praising God and singing here in the church as you have always done.
There is so much to do in eight weeks.
All the best and God bless you always.
A note from the Staff Parish Relations Committee –
We all wish Tom well while he is on leave and we also wish him a good retirement. Tom has served this church for 6 years and the Methodist Church for over 40! We were lucky to have him and to allow him to complete the circle by returning to the church that started him on his path to the ministry. God Bless you Tom!
The bishop has blessed us with the choice of the Rev. Penny Gadzini as our interim pastor. She is a familiar presence to many of us which will be a help as we are still processing the rapid departure of Pastor Tom. Between now and December 1, Pastor Penny will be paid by the conference for what is called “pulpit supply”. In other words, she is being paid to deliver worship on Sunday mornings. If you need pastoral care during this period, or want to plan a wedding, baptism or funeral, call or email the church office and Tom and Penny will work it out. After December 1, Penny will be our fulltime interim pastor until the end of the church year in June. The Bishop and the cabinet will be meeting in the coming months to work on the appointment of a permanent pastor and we should keep them in our prayers, that God will work with them to make the best possible choice for our beloved church. Yours truly, Greg Cortelyou and the SPR committee
It is with joy and gratitude that I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we begin a new journey together. Though November it is my privilege to provide pulpit supply at Babylon UMC. We have begun a five-part sermon series on “Compass: Tools for Life”. Scripture says that Jesus came that we might have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). I believe that too often, we miss out on the abundant life Jesus promised and that following a Spiritual Compass may be a part of finding our way back into fullness of life with God. Please, come and join us for worship!
Beginning December 1 until June 30, I will be the full time interim Pastor. I’m thinking of our time together as something of a pilgrimage: the adventure of setting out on a journey together with the intention of being attentive to what the Living God is doing in our midst. Let us be together in prayer for our Church and for one another, trusting that God is present and active in our midst!
Rev. Penny Gadzini (Pastor Penny)