The hardest thing about leaving

This is my last Sunday as Senior Minister at Oak Flats Anglican Church.

After more than six years in this role, I am leaving to serve full-time at Jamberoo Anglican, ending the partnership between our two churches that began back in 2015.

The decision to leave was difficult, and the road ahead for both churches is challenging.

And yet, the hardest thing about leaving is saying goodbye.

Being the pastor of a flock is a deeply-relational role. My family and I have been privileged to be invited to share your highs and lows, and this has brought us great joy and sorrow as we have walked the Christian journey, together.

When the Apostle Paul finished his ministry in Ephesus, emotions ran high for him, too. As he prepared to leave, he told them:

“You know how I lived the whole time I was with you… I served the Lord with great humility and with tears… I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:18-21)

And then Paul “knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him.” (verses 37-38)

Whilst the Apostle Paul’s time in Ephesus was unique, it still reminds us of the deep, emotions that often accompany the farewell as a church leader leaves.

We are deeply thankful for the privilege of serving the flock at Oak Flats Anglican since 2012, and we trust that God will continue to strengthen you all in the good works he has prepared in advance for you to walk in, to his great glory.

Grace and peace, Jodie and Mandy.