saying goodbye

Saying goodbye is a life skill.  It is not surprising that Amazon has a list of 20 best “goodbye” books for preschoolers.  But what about a book for a grown-up?

This year it is me who is having a tough time saying goodbye.  We have had two wonderful pastors at our church for the past 3 years and now they have both decided it is time to move back east to be closer to their families.  In our denomination pastors come as a “call” and leave when they are “called.”  The fact that both of them were called to return home at the same time has been a bit disconcerting but certainly understandable.

In between “calling” a new pastor, we have what is called an interim pastor.  This is someone trained to help congregations in transition.  We are lucky to have found a wonderful interim to serve our church.

But that still leaves me saying goodbye to two wonderful people I’ve come to love and cherish.  And – part of the deal is that when a pastor leaves a church, they have no contact with the congregation for a year.  So it is sad for me to have to go into this funny place of putting a wall between myself and another human – it is so unhuman!  Especially for me, a person who craves connection and thrives on relationships.

This time will pass; I know the year will fly by, they always do.  I’m sure I will hear little bits of news about these wonderful people as they continue their journeys and I’m sure they will hear little bits of news about me too.  But it isn’t the same and it is a loss pure and simple.

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6 responses to “saying goodbye

  • pamela hodges

    Oh, yes it is a loss. I am so sorry they are leaving. And sad you can’t talk to them. Bits and pieces of news is not the same. Praying for you.

  • fireflytrails

    I understand the no contact rule – sort of – but that makes this so hard. And two at once makes it doubly hard. But God is still in your midst, and no doubt there’s a purpose in this. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers as time passes and meanwhile His purpose is made clear.

  • newtreemom

    Listen to the song “Friends Are Friends Forever.” A church member sang it for us when my husband went from pastoring the church to the Army chaplaincy. After that, I heard it many times at farewell events. I think it is a good thought to hold on to when you say goodbye… “friends are friends forever if the Lord is the Lord of them.”

  • Carol

    This does sound hard- especially the part about no contact for a year. Comforting to know that soon God will call someone new, someone he has chosen, someone who is exactly what your church needs right now, who you will probably grow to love just as much.

  • Terje

    Goodbyes are hard but it would be worse if you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye at all. The year seems long but it will probably pass sooner than you expect. I know, we can say wise words here but this goodbye will still be sad and unavoidable. I wish you strength.

  • Rebecca

    Our church is going through the same with our pastor as he took another call. He has 3 more Sundays. I don’t think we have a no contact rule, but it makes me wonder if it is appropriate to keep in contact or just let go completely.

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