Saturday, 25 June 2011

Thanks to Richhill Methodist

Tomorrow is our last Sunday in Richhill.  After church there will be a presentation and then we are heading off to Loughgall Park.  Here is what I want to say as thanks to Richhill Methodist.
I am aware that there are times I have let you down. I have focused attention on me rather simply pointing to God. I have not prayed for you the way I ought. There are have been times when I have not reflected the compassion that shines out of Jesus, when we read those beautiful words ‘and his heart went out to them’. Worse still there have been times that my words have been foolish or insensitive.
The word that comes to mind when I think of you is kindness. I have never enjoyed a church as much as this. Not every church could show such understanding when their pastor had to take time off because he struggled with mental illness. Not every church allows their pastor be honest about his struggles, many pastors have to pretend they have no weaknesses. Not every pastor feels encouraged and loved by the congregations they serve with. Thank you!
I want to ask that you might do something. Love Nick and Leslie. Nearly two years ago someone told me that Nick was likely to be available the year we were moving. I have prayed that he would be the person that would follow me. I liked him from the first time I remember meeting him. I trust his character and faith. He is warm and charming and has a great sense of humour. He is loved by the churches he is leaving. Be patient with him as you have been patient with me. Accommodate his weaknesses the way you accommodated mine. You have been so kind in the way you have loved us as a family. We have felt that our children were precious to you. Let Leslie, Becky and Jack know that they are precious to you. You never viewed us as outsiders sent here to do a job but have accepted as one of your own. Take the McKnights close to your hearts. Pray for them.


Virtual Methodist said...

God bless you in your onward journey... And Richill & Nick in theirs...

Brian McFarland said...

I pray that you will have a blessed day tomorrow and a day that will remain with you for years to come, but remember that the God who has called you is faithful and will continue to bless you as you say your farewells and move in His plan to pastor a new people.
Continue to use your gifts for His glory as you have done in Richhill. Our prayers will go with you as you go to Limerick in the days ahead.

God bless

Mr Veale said...

Here do you want your books back????

Rachel Steiner said...

Paul, thank ,you for your ministry to Richhill Methodist. Your teaching has given the church a deep foundation on which to grow, a passion for God's word, and for God Himself. Your willingness to share your weaknessess has helped people to realise they don't have to pretend to be perfect, but are welcomed by God and the church as they are. And the love and compassion that you and Caroline have shown to so many people in the midst of their difficulties has given them a glimpse of the mighty love of God. for this, and so much more, thanks.
and now...........may God fill you up with His strength for this new adventure. God bless you all,
much love, rach

mj said...

Shut up!!...where are you man?
I never thought I would say this but its hard to take.
I miss Caroline roaring and shouting through the estate after the kids and you slothing around my house :) give me a shout when you get a chance.