This morning Chris let our congregation know that after 8.5 years of full-time ministry at RCRC he will be stepping down as pastor and leave full-time parish ministry sometime in June. There were tears and then standing ovation by the congregation in appreciation for his work and years of service.
I was a mess this morning, I started crying even before he made the announcement because I knew it was coming and the doxology was a tear-jerker. I wasn't even going to try not to cry. I had a big wad of tissues stuffed into my purse. I got some big hugs before and after the service. I had some good and some awkward conversations. But that big sad moment that I had been dreading is done. Chris and I have a lot of peace about the decisions and the reasons we have moved to make the changes we have but our exact plans are still not fully set.
So what is next?
We are staying here. We are not moving. We own our home and want to finish raising our children here. Our daughters love their schools, I love my job and we all love the area and the many friends we have made.
A few months ago, after several years of questioning and prayer, Chris decided to apply to the University of Rochester's CPE program with the goal of training to become a hospital or hospice chaplain. The time Chris has spent doing hospital visits with ill or dying and their families has been one of the most rewarding and consistently satisfying parts of his job as pastor. Hopefully he will be accepted into the program.
He also pursuing being accepted a minister with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the hopes of finding a pastoral care or other part-time position within that denomination.
We have a lot to think about it and figure out in the coming months, so we will covet your prayers that doors keep opening