Farewell from Pastor Bob
For several minutes now I have been staring at a blank screen, waiting for some exalted and profound words to rush into my grateful but grieving mind as I write my final blog post as senior pastor at EFCCL. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for that great inspiration. I’ve now experienced almost all of my “lasts”—my last Elder meeting, my last budget meeting, my last staff meeting, and my last funeral. There is only one “last” left: my last Sunday to preach God’s sacred Word one last time to such an incredibly wonderful congregation of brothers and sisters in Christ who have been my “family” for more than 18½ years.
My heart treasures stories galore of God’s infinite grace and mercy that have been extended to and expressed through you who are EFCCL. A pastor friend of mine told me recently, “You know, Bob, your congregation has had the benefit of receiving the best of yourself by way of all the years of experience and wisdom you brought to them.” I hope that’s true and that the best was enough, because never in my life have I felt completely “adequate” for the task of being an under-shepherd of the Chief Shepherd. No one knows how often I am on my knees before my Lord pleading for His help, because I feel so much “in over my head.” Yet God has always been faithful in fulfilling the promise He made first to the Apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I will continue to pray for all of you. And here are some of my petitions: (1) That God will bring a fresh spiritual awakening to you as a congregation such that new momentum is built even before your next senior pastor is identified and arrives; (2) That you, the people of EFCCL, will become more God dependent than you have ever been and more in love with your Savior; (3) That your best days as a church family will still be in front of you and that God will give you a renewed resolve to make a difference both inside the church and in the community; (4) That you as a people will keep fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross; and (5) That in His perfect timing, God will bring to you the servant of God, and his beloved family, who will love you as much as I have, and that he will become truly a great partner with all of you for the sake of the Gospel.
As I close, all I can say is “THANKS!!!!” Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for walking with me through lots of sorrows and struggles. Thank you for growing and blossoming in your faith right before my eyes. Thank you for your constant prayers and encouragement. Thank you for your great faithfulness to our Lord and His church. Thank you for showering me with far more love and kindness than I deserve, love which I have soaked deep into my heart and will treasure forever. Thank you! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
by Bob Page, Senior Pastor