It was a hard day today! Very emotional with lots of tears and remembering the various things that happened through out our 4 1/2 years. 4 1/2 years ago accepted the call to be the head pastor at Zion Church in Cooperstown. A lot happened while we were there -- as soon as we arrived the church celebrated their 125 anniversary. We also were around for some births, weddings & deaths. We started our family there and were blessed with many loving and caring people who loved our kids as grandkids. Today John gave his last service at Zion Church. He did a great job. Afterwards there were hugs and good byes which were so painful. The church gave us a pizza good bye party which was wonderful. Then there was a farewell which was open to the community.....people were able to talk about their memories & what they were thankful for about John (and us). So many tears & so many beautiful loving comments said to us which we cherish. One of the families we will miss is the Starke's -- when we first arrived he drove us around Cooperstown and gave us a map to mark off where everyone lives (it was SUCH a helpful task & we used that map for a couple of years), they also invited us over to celebrate family events, fires, etc. They also are the boys adopted grandparents. Little M & Clint are really good friends (Clint gets a kick out of the fact that Little M is such a big eater & that he would always go to him)! I am so thankful for all the memories and the people that we have met in Cooperstown. Thank you so much for being our first church & for being such a loving and wonderful group of people.
My Letter to our Church:
To our Zion Family –
Over four years ago we began the call process to come to Zion. We weren’t exactly sure where God was leading us but as soon as John heard that we had been called to Zion we were excited to come & serve you. Lots of things were going on during that time we celebrated the church’s 125 anniversary, we mourned with you when people died, we celebrated life & so many other things with you.
We were blessed to be able to start our family with you having both Nikolas & Mikah here. Thank you for loving them like they were part of your family. We have considered you family & have blessed to have you a part of our lives. Thank you for the cuddles that you have given the boys, the candy & gifts that you have given them through out the years. The time that you have spent with them making them feel special & loved thank you!
The ladies from the church have been so generous to us over the years giving us a pantry shower when we first arrived. Then having a baby shower for when Nikolas was born. Also for the gifts that were given when Mikah was born also. Everything you have done for us we are so appreciative for all you have done!
Thank you for being our first church where we started off learning & growing as we learned who we were as a pastor & as a pastor’s wife. We might not have always done the right thing but we learned & grew from it. We also might not have always remembered to say thank you all the time but we appreciate all the letters of encouragement, gifts to us, the time spent with you either at our house or at your house. The gift of time that you spent with us was always so welcomed and we always loved spending time with you. Getting to know you was so important.
There are so many other things we would love to say but it would take up the whole bulletin. Suffice it to say that we love you & are so blessed to have gotten to know each & every one of the members of Zion church and the people of Cooperstown. You are a very unique and blessed community. We are praying that God will richly bless you as a congregation so that you are able to continue to share the message of Jesus.
Thank you for everything that you have done for us!! Please pray for us as we start this new adventure in our life that God has given us.
Pastor John, Caristy, Little N & M
I Corinthians 1:4 -- I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus.