Woke up early this morning realizing that this is my last full week as pastor of Park City Community UMC. A week from today, the moving truck will pull up to the parsonage and begin loading boxes and furniture for the move to Colorado. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here thinking that this week of "lasts" will be a tough one:
- Last staff meeting: I enjoy our weekly staff meeting as a time to connect with everyone, but I especially enjoy the team of people with whom I work. PCCC is blessed to have great people serving on the team. Mary has been my right hand person and a big part of my administrative "brain" over the past six years. She represents PCCC well every day. Karen has been a blessing to children and parents and it has been fun to watch her ministry grow. Bryan has been a joy to work with and his talent and skill help make our choir and Sunday music be some of the best around. Nina has done an outstanding job managing our church finances with skill and integrity. Manny has been a godsend and works hard to keep our facilities standing tall and looking good. I am going to miss all of them a great deal and am pleased that they will be here to work with your new pastors.
- Last worship services: It's only Monday, but I'm thinking about next Sunday and what that will be like. I've moved from other churches before, but as an associate pastor. This is a very different thing altogether. It's going to be very emotional, which is hard for someone who isn't terribly emotional. It helps me to keep in mind that worship is always about God, and we will celebrate what God has done among all of us next Sunday.
- Last trip to the gym: For the past several years I have spent part of nearly every day at the Basin Rec Fieldhouse working out. I will miss seeing the regular morning crowd, running the track, and being tortured by my trainer, Brian Frost!
- Last visits: This week I visit some of our members who are in the hospital or at home. I won't go into detail, but these are some of the hardest goodbyes.
- Last day of school: The kids are leaving their friends as they come to their last day of school. We have appreciated the great teachers and staff at Parley's Park Elementary, and at Ecker Hill and Treasure Mountain Middle Schools.
I've come to realize that "lasts" are important because they generally lead to new "firsts." How we do our "lasts" largely determines how we will enter into those "firsts." As I anticipate next Sunday's worship and our evening farewell potluck, I will be thinking about how these "lasts" will become memories as we enter into a new chapter in life and ministry.