God answer you on the day you crash, the name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill, Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings, celebrate your sacrifices, Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.
When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners.
May all your wishes come true! Psalm 20: 1-5 The Message
The last few months, since I announced my decision to retire, have been an intensive time of prayer, planning and preparations. At times I’ve felt stretched to the point of breaking as all that must be done looms before me. This decision has also put extra burdens on the elders of the session and members of the Board of Deacons, as each person steps forward to willingly accepted new responsibilities and new duties. All of us have the future of the church and congregation in mind as we work together to plan for our future.
You, members and friends, have been so affirming, understanding and supportive of my decision and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is a great feeling to know of your love and prayers surrounding me and Sally as we step out to a new life.
How wonderful it is to witness the congregation pulling together to continue the ministry and mission that we have developed together in response to Christ’s call. The vital work continues in the community as the church provides support in times of both crisis and celebration, sorrow and joy.
I have every confidence that this ministry will continue well into the future. The session and church will have fine leadership from Debbie Gargiulo as she grows in fullness of her calling to preach and teach as a Commissioned Lay Pastor. The Elders are, even now, engaged in careful planning and prayerful thinking about the on-going mission of First Presbyterian Church.
Yes, it is a challenge and yes, there are days of sadness ahead, as we say farewell, but the Church will go on! You will continue to follow Christ’s call, teachings and example! You will Worship, share the good news of the Gospel, serve the community.
As the Psalmist proclaims; God shall provide what we need. Aid will come from God’s Holy Spirit.
The work and prayers you offer will be blessed and plans for a bright future accomplished.
Thanks be to the Lord!
Rev. Donald M. Pitches