Last updated on June 9th, 2023 at 07:49 pm

ear Beloved Flock,

Today, I share these words with a bittersweet mixture of joy and sorrow. After twelve incredible years of journeying together as your “sheepdog to the Lord Shepherd,” the time has come for me to bid you farewell. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of serving alongside you, guiding and guarding your hearts, and having you tenderly mold me into a servant worthy of being called an Elder in the United Methodist Church. So very sorry your work took SO long to be accomplished.

To each and every one of you, I extend my most profound appreciation. Your unwavering faith, resilience, and unyielding commitment to the Good News of Jesus, the Christ, have shaped me as much as I hope I have shaped you. Together, we have weathered storms, celebrated triumphs, and witnessed countless miracles. The memories we have forged will forever be weaved into the tapestries of my life and Kathy’s.

However, I must acknowledge a select group of individuals who have walked by my side, fellow laborers in this vineyard of the Lord. Sandy, Anna Marie, Lauren, Janet, Carol Ann, and Colleen, you have been my cherished ministry colleagues and my trusted partners in spreading the good news. Your unwavering dedication, profound wisdom, compassionate hearts, and grace in overlooking SO many of my failings have been an unending source of inspiration. The countless hours we spent in prayer, in preparation, and in fellowship will forever be treasured. Each of you has played an invaluable role in shepherding this flock; I am profoundly grateful for that. Our ministry together has been marked by love, unity, mutual appreciation and respect, and a shared vision of building God’s Kingdom a little sooner and a little closer, right here in Okatie. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Church of the Palms, as I depart, my heart aches, realizing that our paths will diverge as we will no longer gather as a united community each week. Yet, I take comfort in the knowledge that the seeds we have sown together will continue to bear fruit long after I am gone. The legacy of faith we have cultivated will endure, sustained by the grace of God and your unwavering commitment to each other. Having spent more time with Shannon this week at Annual Conference, I am even MORE excited for what she and God will do among you. You will be in good hands, and for that, I, too, am grateful.

May you continue to be a reflection of the Light of Christ, a light no darkness can overcome as you continue the journey of “connecting to God and connecting to one another.” Cherish one another, support one another, and remember that the bond we share transcends distance and time, for it is in Christ we hold.

Farewell, my dear friends, the flock I cherish. Know that you will forever hold a special place in the heart of this Sheepdog.

With all my love, gratitude, and prayers,
Pete +

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