I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart,[d] for all of you share in God’s grace[e] with me, . . . 9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)
Dear MPC Family,
I wrote to you last February with these words: “In 2008 you called me as your Co-Pastor. For 15 months I served alongside Pastor Bill Stepp as Co-Pastor. Upon his retirement and appointment as Pastor Emeritus we began a search for a new Co-Pastor. With great joy we welcomed Dan Carlson in 2011 who came to us, with Krista and their young son Colton after both Dan and Krista graduated from Regent College in Vancouver BC. Dan and Krista were both ordained here at MPC and Dan began his service as our Co-Pastor.”
In that letter I told you I would be leaving in the fall. At that point I did not know what my next call would be. Now I am happy to report, beginning September 4, I will begin a new call as Director of Philanthropy for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Carrie and I will be moving to the Pacific Northwest to Spokane Washington where Carrie went to college and where our grandchildren live with our son Alex and daughter-in-law, Becca. Our younger son Tim lives 5 hours away in Portland, Oregon.
While Carrie and I are thrilled to be able to live near our family, we will miss all of you very much. We will always cherish our time here, times of learning together and of fellowship, of mission and care.
The Session has been working diligently since last February on a new staff design with additional and significant investments in children’s ministry, in youth ministry and in worship, fellowship, congregation care and outreach. Pastor Dan will be making an important announcement this Sunday, August 26th, about the people who will fill these new position beginning next month.
While I will continue to be your friend, I will no longer be your pastor. Dan Carlson is your pastor now and he, along with your elders and church staff will lead you in the next chapter of ministry. I will be in prayer for them and for you and I will look forward to seeing you in the years ahead as the Lord allows and most of all spending eternity with you in God’s new heaven and new earth.
The Presbytery of Florida has asked me to share with you a significant section of our policy for pastoral transitions: Whenever a pastor leaves a charge, there are bonds of affection between the pastor and members of the church which continue to be cherished. Relations of friendship continue, but the pastoral relationship does not. In order that the work of the church may prosper the presbytery directs that the church be reminded of these requirements. When any pastor resigns from a pastorate or retires from services, or becomes a pastor emeritus, the pastor should cease to perform such functions of a pastor as funerals, baptisms, and weddings, unless invited to officiate in such a capacity by the pastor or by the moderator of the session. Ordinarily, the pastor will not participate in the life and worship of the life and worship of the church he or she is leaving for one year. Therefore, the pastor is encouraged to find another worshipping community for spiritual nourishment during this period of time. Individual members are asked not to place former pastors in the awkward position of asking their friend to perform the duties of a pastor. Pastors are directed to tactfully decline all such invitations that come from former parishioners rather than from other pastors or governing bodies.
We will miss you all and God bless you and keep you.
Warmly in Christ, your friend,
Pastor Randy’s Final Charge To MPC: