“Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus—the great Shepherd of the sheep—with the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with all that is good to do His will, working in us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. Glory belongs to Him forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20,21 (HCSB)
Today has been designated Pastor Appreciation Day. Pastors often live lonely lives, as they are called upon day and night to solve every problem and mediate every dispute. And they are often under-appreciated and rarely thanked. It has been said that a Pastor dies a long slow death, dying a little bit each day from loneliness, and a pervasive sense of inadequacy! These few words that I write, cannot do justice to adequately thank you, Pastor Noel, for your years of faithful service, but they are a small token of our genuine love for you, and of our gratitude to God for you!
It was part of God’s perfect plan, to call you to N.F.B.C. for these past seven years. And we praise God for your faithfulness, in spite of difficult circumstances at times. And now His perfect plan is calling you and your family away from us to serve San Juan Baptist Church in Port Townsend. And like the Ephesian elders who wept at the farewell of the apostle Paul, we now weep at the thought of our church without you. We will miss your preaching, your leading in worship, your care for the flock, your calming influence in difficult situations, your ministry among our young adults, and the list goes on and on. But most of all, we will miss you and your family! We will miss the sweet fellowship in Christ that we have enjoyed with you!
But, though we will miss you, we do not send you with despair. It is our great hope and confidence that the God, who was able to raise up from the dead, our Lord Jesus – will also equip you with all that is good to do his will, using you for the growth of His kingdom, and the glory of His name! May God richly bless you and your family in the years ahead, until that great day when all tears will be forever wiped away and we will gather at the throne, glorifying our great God and Saviour together!!!