After three years, Pastor Vicki has been appointed to a new church, and the time has come to say farewell. Please join us for her last worship service on June 12, 2011, followed by a farewell brunch.
See Pastor Vicki’s Farewell Letter Below.
May 9, 2011
Dear beloved friends,
In February we welcomed new members into the church, and the scripture passage for the day imagined the church as a garden, with many different people coming in and out to labor. The apostle Paul wrote,
“ What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you have come to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. For we are God’s servants, working together…”
I Corinthians 3:5-9
(To see the full sermon for the day, check out “Gardeners” at www.youtube.com/dhumc) That day, we welcomed new gardeners. In the coming months, we will say some garden farewells. During Holy Week, Don announced that he has been appointed to a church in Mystic, and on Sunday, I announced that, effective July 1, I have been appointed to be the associate pastor at Church of the Village in Manhattan. Church of the Village is a multiracial congregation that has a growing young adult membership, and they are at this time in real need of someone with my unique qualities. For those of you who understand the United Methodist system, you know that changes in pastoral appointments are not wholly out of the ordinary. Having met with the church, I am convinced that God is calling me to minister in this new place, but I have inevitably mixed emotions leaving Diamond Hill.
There are many things I was expecting to have time to do with you all that now must be left in the hands of God. But there are also many things we have done together, many seeds planted, much soil watered. Together, we became a Reconciling Congregation and joined the movement to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the church. We launched a new website and social networking presence and revamped our Sunday School program. We have debated and disagreed on some big questions, but we have continued to keep our eyes on the kingdom of God. And we have said some significant good-bye’s and some joyous hello’s! I have loved and been loved by this community, and I pray that, together, we have planted well. Now, I trust you all to keep working the garden as I pick up my hoe for new soil.
In the coming months, we will be involved in a ministry of transition. My last Sunday will be June 12, and I am your pastor through the month of June. Please be in prayer for the Staff Parish Relations Committee, our District Superintendent, and the Bishop, who will be working to select the new pastor for Diamond Hill. The best way for any of you to honor my ministry would be to continue what I have been trying to do here: to build this church into a just and welcoming community to transform the world. And, above all, pray fervently for the new pastor, who is on her/his way to love you into continued discipleship.
In God’s abundant grace,
The Rev. Vicki I Flippin