Friends in Christ,
I began my pastoral ministry among you over six years ago. After seminary and two years working among the homeless in Washington, DC, I had many ideas about what parish ministry might be like, but little actual experience. These years at Sea Island Presbyterian have taught me much. Everything I know about ministry I have learned from my practice with and among you. More importantly, my relationships with each you have shaped my heart and my character. Thus, it is with both sadness and excitement that I share with you my decision to resign from my position as your Associate Pastor, effective August 31.
I have spent many months thinking, praying, and listening for the Holy Spirit in an effort to understand how God might be calling me to serve his people. In recent weeks, I have been able to clarify a sense of call to live out my ministry among the urban poor, not only serving but living in community with “the least of these.” My hope is to serve as a solo pastor in an inner-city congregation, combining the work of pastoral ministry with community development. I imagine myself not only as pastor to a congregation but also as chaplain to a neighborhood. I do not know yet where that congregation and neighborhood might be, but I do know that I must dedicate myself fully to pursuing that vision. I cannot give myself to that effort and to my work here at Sea Island Presbyterian, and so I must say farewell.
I feel excited about what the future might hold, though it is uncertain. I also feel a strong sense of peace about my chosen direction. Still, saying goodbye to you will be extremely difficult. You have loved Eric and I well, and we feel very much at home among you. We will undoubtedly leave part of ourselves behind in Beaufort. I will use the summer months to make the transition as smooth as possible so that the ministries I have overseen will continue to thrive. I have full confidence in the many elders, deacons, and lay leaders who are already doing much of the work of ministry and will continue to lead with excellence and humility. I cannot adequately express the love and gratitude in my heart for each of you. I will carry you with me into the future, knowing that I could not answer the next call had I not answered the call to Sea Island Presbyterian Church. Perhaps simple is best: thank you and I love you.