We will miss you, Pastor Barry!
Dear Beloved Congregation of Grace United Methodist Church,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I sit down to write this letter today with a mixture of emotions. After fourteen wonderful years of serving as your pastor, the time has come for me to bid you farewell. It is a moment of both sadness and excitement as I reflect on the incredible journey we have shared together.
After much prayerful consideration and seeking God’s guidance, my family and I have made the decision to relocate from Rhode Island to Washington, D.C. This move is driven by a new chapter that awaits us, presenting opportunities for personal and professional growth. While it fills us with excitement, it is also accompanied by a tinge of sadness as we prepare to say goodbye to the incredible community we have grown to love and cherish.
When I first arrived at this church, I could never have imagined your profound impact on my life and ministry. Over the years, you have become more than just a congregation; you have become my family. Your love, support, and unwavering faith have been a constant source of inspiration and strength. Together, we have experienced joys and triumphs, faced challenges and sorrows, and grown in our walk with God.
I am deeply grateful for the privilege of shepherding this flock. Your openness to receive God’s Word, your hunger for spiritual growth, and your willingness to step out in faith have been a pastor’s dream. Your genuine love for one another and your dedication to the work of the kingdom have been a testament to the transformative power of Christ within us.
I want to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for your faithfulness, encouragement, and prayers throughout the years. Your faith has ignited my own, your love has humbled me, and your support has sustained me. Together, we have witnessed lives transformed, broken hearts mended, and souls set free by the redeeming power of our Savior.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the leaders, staff, and volunteers who have worked tirelessly alongside me. Your commitment, passion, and sacrificial service have been instrumental in the growth and success of our church. I am grateful for your partnership in ministry and the countless ways you have touched lives within our congregation and the wider community.
As my family and I prepare to embark on a new chapter in my life and ministry, I carry with me the memories we have created, the lessons we have learned, and the bonds we have formed. Although we may physically part ways, please know that you will always hold a special place in my heart. The love and connection we share transcend time and distance, and I will continue to uphold each of you in my prayers.
I have complete confidence in the leadership of this church and the bright future that lies ahead. God has great plans in store for you, and I encourage you to continue walking in faith, unity, and love. Remember that the church is not a building; it is a community of believers called to love and serve one another, to share the Gospel, and to impact the world around us. May you continue to shine the light of Christ brightly, bringing hope, healing, and restoration to all you encounter.
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not express my gratitude to my family, who has stood by my side throughout this incredible journey. Their love, sacrifice, and understanding have been an unshakeable foundation. I am blessed beyond measure to have them as my support system, and I am excited to embark on this new adventure with them by my side.
As I say goodbye, I do so with a heart filled with gratitude and love. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives, entrusting me with your spiritual growth, and the countless memories we have shared. While our paths may diverge, our faith in the God who unites us remains the same. Let us continue to trust in God’s goodness, cling to our LORD’s promises, and follow the Spirit’s leading. Sunday, June 4th, will be my farewell service. I will take vacation time and offer special thanks to Lay Servant Michael Melia for coving the worship service following for the month of June. My official last day at Grace UMC will be June 30th.
May the Lord bless you abundantly and protect you always. Friends, as I depart, I leave you the Christian’s greeting, Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen Indeed!