September 17, 2018
Five years ago, I stepped off the wharf onto a sailboat and I learned how to sail. On that adventure I discovered a practice that helped me let go of the life I had, and discover a new life I’d never imagined.
Today, I write that I have been called to step away from University Church into a new adventure.
I write with tears of gratitude for the privilege of serving as one of your pastors for the past 25 years. We will mark my last Sunday on December 30.
This is a decision I have come to after much thought and prayer over these past months. I have loved being your pastor for 25 years – almost half of my life! The hugs, the tears, the adventures, the people I have met, the staff with whom I’ve worked, the places I have gone, the impact we have had on untold individual lives and families, not to mention the Seattle community and beyond, can scarcely be grasped.
At my 20th anniversary, I shared that I have been blessed by your high expectations and deep love. You have witnessed my successes and shortcomings; my resistance to change and my stumbling vulnerability; my perfectionism and my imperfections. This challenging ministry, and our honest conversations, have enabled me to become the man I am today.
As with learning how to sail, I feel called to step out into unknowing – a season of learning and discovery, reflection and writing – an intentional Sabbath as I listen for God’s call. I know I am being called out to some new way to be, some new way to serve that I trust will be revealed.
It’s important for you to know that University Church is as strong as it has ever been, strong in identity, and most of all, strong in its people and leadership. And I will do all I can to give our ministry my full energy and best talents for a smooth transition. In October and November I have cleared my calendar on Thursdays and Fridays for those of you who would like a time for conversation.
We have been blessed these past years by William Sloane Coffin, Jr.’s benediction. I offer it again in deep gratitude for this community of faith, and each of you.
May God grant you the grace never to sell yourself short.
Grace to risk something big for the sake of something good.
Grace to remember that the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth
And too small for anything but love.
In faith, hope, and love,
Editor’s Note: find out about our next steps for our church >> here