Farewell Reception for Kellie Sanford
April 19, 2017
As this season as your Perkins Pastoral Intern draws to a close, I grow increasingly grateful for the hospitality and grace this body of Christ has shown me. Although my time here has been short, I have had the honor of serving in multiple capacities – participating in worship and pastoral care, officiating a funeral, beginning a young parent Sunday school class, leading a retreat for senior adults, and spending time on an overnight retreat with the amazing United Methodist Women. The breath and life of experience is greater than anything I could have imagined a year ago. In every one of these experiences, including my time in the pulpit, you have extended me kindness and grace. God is at work here – in missions and ministries, but also in the heartfelt conversations over lunch and coffee. Even in the midst of the ordinary, His presence lives and breathes through this congregation and staff.
To my internship committee – Thank you for your willingness to step into relationship with an outsider. We first met last August, yet today I feel as if we have known each other for years. I will embrace your honest feedback and insight as I move forward in ministry.
To the newly formed Pathways Sunday school class – Thank you for accepting the invitation and allowing me to lead you into new beginnings and new relationships. It has been a tremendous privilege to be part of something new at FirstChurch. Each one of you holds a special place in my heart. I trust that when I come back to visit, your Sunday school class will continue to thrive and grow as you welcome more young parents into your midst.
Church – I am likely saying something you can affirm, but I must tell you that your pastors and staff are top notch. I have been part of some incredible church staffs before, but I can tell you without a doubt, the synergy and goodwill of this staff is like none I have experienced. They have the best interest of the congregation in mind in all they say and do.
Thank you, FirstChurch, for all you do to love God and to love your neighbor. You really are the Heart of God’s love in the Arts District, and it has been a privilege and blessing for me to serve as your Perkins Pastoral Intern. I admire your passion for ministry and your generosity and willingness to make a difference in the community. I only hope that I have inspired you the way you have inspired me.
May God’s Grace and Peace be with you all,