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From the Pastor's Desk,

By now you've probably heard the news that this desk will not be mine for much longer. Our Lord is calling Robyn and myself elsewhere to continue his work in another setting. I will be serving as the Lead Pastor at First Reformed Church in Platte, SD. I hope to begin my work there around June 1.

As we share this news with you, we feel great sadness. It is never easy to leave people that you love. However, that is part of the commitment that accompanied our embrace of God's call in the first place. We knew there would be a time to come and a time to go. There is still another Trumpet to write, so I'll save my final words and thoughts until then. In this Trumpet I'd like to lay out what the short term future holds.

We have some time together to insure a peaceful transition into a vacancy. As the Revitalization Chair of classis, I have overseen many of these transitions, so my last duties in that position will be to care for you in that role.

We want to make sure that the congregation is in good hands. That means a moderator/supervisor needs to be named. This person will provide the necessary oversight to keep this congregation connected and strong. He will preside over consistory meetings during the vacancy. He will perform weddings and funerals as needed, and (along with the consistory) will provide for the spiritual care of the congregation.

The consistory will recommend their first, second, and third choices of moderators and then I'll do my best to get the right person lined up. The current Revitalization Commission greatly values the input of the consistories because they know the vacancy can often lay the groundwork for the next pastorate. It is my hope that we will be able to name this person relatively soon so they could attend my final consistory meeting in May.

I will also notify the classis of the need for classis appointed pulpit supply. The classis is willing to provide a classis appointed pastor one week out of every month. As part of our covenant relationship between churches, the classis provides these pastors to oversee the sacraments, Professions of Faith, or transfers. So you'll soon be getting familiar with many of the RCA pastors in the area as well as many lay persons that do an effective job at preaching.

The consistory and ALL board are already discussing ways to cover my (and Robyn's) other commitments. Some will be done with our present staff increasing hours or commitments. Other concerns will be handled by volunteers or the consistory themselves. We want to assure you that someone will be there for you if you have a need or concern. Perhaps you'd even like to rise to the challenge and offer to fill some of the requirements. If so, talk to Sue.

I hope this lowers your anxiety by giving you a picture of the work that's already underway and the additional plans that will be put into motion soon. If you still have concerns or questions feel free to contact me. My door is always least til the end of May.

With my prayers,

Pastor Gary

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