Summary of the Day: Today was a day to be bookmarked—one of the most incredible and significant days of Sonja and my life—our last day as pastors of the FMCOG.
In some ways it was like attending our own funeral and we stood in the receiving line all day. The overflow of love and honor from our dearly loved FMCOG congregation is hard to describe; Sonja and I had a “last Sunday” that few ministers will ever experience. When I think of all the wonderful men and women of God (pastors, evangelists, missionaries, teachers, church leaders, etc.) who finished their assignments at a certain place and did so with faithfulness and integrity but departed unsung, unappreciated, and with little or no fanfare I am blown away by the way Sonja and I were treated and know in my heart that their over-the-top goodbye is due only to the mercy and grace of God—to HIM (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) be all the glory and honor.
There are no “forever” assignments in this life; even marriage is a “till death do we part” assignment. Thus I have wondered from time to time how it would be when it was time for Sonja and I to say good-bye to this precious congregation. Well, yesterday we did it and (which is typical of this great church) the event exceeded my expectations.
To all the people of the FMCOG (and I can truly think of no exceptions), Sonja and I offer our heart-felt thanks and gratitude. You loved us, supported us, and put up with us all these years—I love you all.
To all the wonderful ministers and administrators that have worked with me over the year in serving this great church (and again I can truly think of no exceptions) thank you for your loyalty and faithfulness, you made the burden lighter and the journey brighter—I love you all.
To my precious family who started (or joined along the way) and completed this journey with me (and most certainly I can think of no exceptions!) thank you for giving me so many sermon illustrations 🙂, for working along beside me, and understanding (most of the time) when my loving but sometimes demanding “mistress” (the call of God on my life) took me away from you—I love you all.
Wow, twenty years can go by in a blink. It’s been a good ride. Would I have done things differently if I’d known then what I known now? Most certainly. But most certainly if I could do it all over again…you bet I would–no regrets.
I love you all and will always continue to be your number fan. I am eagerly anticipating the even greater things God has in store for you.
With warmest regards, deepest affection, and forever love,
Yours truly, david l. kemp