So I'm leaving First Church Somerville because I've accepted a call to Hope Central Church, UCC and DOC in Jamaica Plain. I'm leaving a part-time associate pastor position, a contracted two year position as Minister of Outreach and Evangelism to become a Senior Pastor.
I'm going to love my new job. I can already tell this. A colleague told me that I am am going to be like a tree that opens and blossoms, and I believe that. The congregation I'm going to has fabulous work to do - all of it pointing toward God and our toward our spiritual growth.
But for today and tomorrow, my work is to finish leaving people I love in the congregation at First Church Somerville.
In the last weeks, we've done a nice job loving each other, I think. We have been busy with love and tidying things up, handing off bits of work to competent, brilliant, talented skilled people who will do better things than I have done.
We've been feeding each other, these last weeks in their homes and in our restaurants close to the church, close to jobs. I've gained a bunch of happy weight while we've been saying goodbye.
Last night, with the help of two brothers and their mom, we move all my things out of my church office, my Bibles, all the gifts I've received, pictures of babies I've baptized, my stoles, a pot of anointing oil. Ach, the ache of leaving. (I've left the secret messages a boy of the congregation and I have left for each other - the messages are the fortunes on little bits of paper one gets from Chinese cookies.)
Tonight we have a party, a roast (the verb, not the noun - for we have vegans and vegetarians) and a dance. We're going to dance to "Brick House," and Santana's "You've Got to Change Your Evil Ways." My partner is coming with me, earning yet more partner points for being the best partner, ever.
Tomorrow, Molly and I, and my Ministerial Care Committee will lead worship, with a host of musicians, Thom, Joe, Tara, Chris, Gianna, others. We will thank God for the time we've had together and pray for First Church Somerville's spiritual work in the world.
I am going away. Come, Spirit, come.