In the Meantime,
Thanksgiving is here. I am with my family in Michigan which warms my heart if not my feet as it is now below freezing much of the time. As we did last year, our plan was to return as a couple and be with you through the winter, which we truly enjoyed last year.
Did you see the verb in that sentence? Our plan ‘was’ to return. Life dealt an unexpected card this month, as Wendy has been diagnosed with a form of breast cancer. That’s bad news to be sure, but it is quite small. There is every expectation that following treatment she has a long grandmotherhood before her.
Did you see the phrase ‘following treatment?’ What that will be, and how long it will last, is still undetermined. Because of that we will not be driving down next week. Exactly when we can be in Arizona is uncertain. But I will be with you for most of December, including Christmas Eve. I will return to Michigan the week after New Year’s Day for a while before returning to Arizona, hopefully before the end of January.
Wherever I may be, though, I will continue to serve you. If further away and sometimes less accessible, do not hesitate to reach out for pastoral presence or professional assistance. You also have a strong staff and dedicated lay leaders. If the wizard is away, the scarecrow and tin man and lion are more than capable.
This being Thanksgiving let me acknowledge and confess our gratitude – Wendy’s and mine – for the kindness and support you have given us in the last year. They have been great gifts and will continue to be so for the next 7 months of my service with you. You are a kind congregation. That is your ‘super power’ as they say. Fortunate indeed will be the minister who gets to be your companion in the years to come. – FW