“Saying Farewell”
With my impending retirement as pastor of Dan River I have come to my last “Main Stream” article.  I reflect on the sixteen and a half years’ worth of musings that have been distributed via these numerous mailings.  We have touched on so many topics, and been through so many experiences.
As I ponder my last article, I struggle with the best way to say farewell.  To gain some inspiration I go to the source I have always heavily relied on… my Bible.  I reflect on many of Paul’s farewells as he wrote to churches, he was so close to.  His final words to the church at Corinth still ring true:
“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Be restored,
be encouraged, be of the same mind,
be at peace, and the God of love and peace
will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11)
As do his words to Archippus (a leader of the church in Colossae):
“Pay attention to the ministry you have
received in the Lord, so that you can
accomplish it.” (Colossians 4: 17b)
I look at Jesus’ farewell to His friends:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe everything I have
commanded you.  And remember, I am with you
always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
All of these are words of encouragement and instruction, and fitting for any farewell address.  However, I would add one personal note.  Sixteen plus years ago we began this journey excited, enthusiastic, and growing.  Today we end our time together struggling with the effects of covid, and an atmosphere of caution.  Let me encourage you with the promise that God is not yet finished with Dan River.  He has great plans for this church.  And He has already chosen the person who will guide this ministry to a new day of successfulness.  All you have to do is faithfully follow God’s plan, love His servant, and work together toward that end.
I know I will see many of you again. Until then Marilyn and I extend to each of you our love and the peace of Jesus Christ.
Farewell, my friends… farewell.

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.  The Lord be with all of you.”    2 Thessalonians 3:16



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