Reverend Dr. David Boumgarden
To Our Dear Friends at River Glen,
What a weekend to remember – our celebration Saturday and my final service on Sunday! My family and I felt loved and honored. It was bitter sweet of course, the saying of good-byes and thank yous after years of life and ministry shared together. But it was also very, very sweet, seeing so many from our congregation plus others from our past coming together in the middle of a busy summer vacation season. Our planning committee (who did a marvelous and classy job by the way) had more than one surprise up their sleeve and creatively kept me in the dark as we were traveling toward the weekend. So Saturday was a whole host of wonderful surprises for me – Matt Bentsen’s solo with Joyce accompanying him (and what a fitting song – the best for this occasion!), the list of speakers, the gentle roast by my colleagues, and the gifts. Wow!
Then again on Sunday, the surprise of two of my children singing a duet of my favorite hymn, the visit of “soft-spoken” Mayor Emeritus George Pradel to make a proclamation, and a send-off in the laying on of hands and prayers. Being kept in the dark about all of this made the weekend all the more delightful. Thank you too for the many, many cards we received (we are still working through them) and for the so very generous gift from the whole church of both a time away for an overnight and Broadway show, and the picture album of my ministry. We will cherish these memories for years to come.
So again, as I tried to express in my Sunday sermon, thanks for all you have brought to my life and for the positive influence you have had on my family. And now as I move on next month to my new call as an interim pastor to the people of the Winnetka Presbyterian Church, it is also time for you to open yourselves to new pastoral leadership for this next chapter opening before you. I will honor our presbytery’s covenant of closure, stepping back from my pastoral role with you in order that there is generous space made for Pastor Barbara & Katie, then your interim and after that your new pastor to lead you into this future God has planned for you. Some things will remain secure and familiar as you transition into tomorrow. But other things will change. I hope you can embrace both as a normal part of transition. So with these thanks and hopes expressed, know that Jane and I will always take a keen interest in you and will eagerly await to see what God has in store for you.
With love and appreciation,