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.