Thank You

I was truly honored by the luncheon and program Sunday, and I want to begin by thanking everyone involved in planning it and pulling it off. Dorothy Brown, Marsha Hall, Anne Karch and Sarah Nordberg were the members of the committee who put together the meal and everything associated with it; and of course Patty Brunner, who regularly caters events here at the church, cooked it. Thank you. It was all so well done. And thank you to all the youth who served the food and did clean-up afterward. Everyone who helped was so gracious and kind, and the servers moved so smoothly through the crowd that it looked effortless when of course it was not.

I was also truly humbled by the words spoken and the gifts given. I love Linda Hancock’s art, and to have an original piece of her work hanging in the church in my honor is an honor, indeed. And the piece itself is stunning. I gave her the text from I Corinthians 13:12-13: Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. Using black, grey, a shaded red and a little white, she manages to suggest that the movement from unknown to known is/will be a kind of breaking out or erupting – not violent, exactly, but probably disruptive and unsettling. At least, that is how I see it after looking at it Sunday afternoon and then again Monday morning. But as with all great art, it will continue to reveal itself and stimulate new ideas in viewers.

I want to thank all the presenters for their work and their words. Eldonna’s prayers opened the meal with hope and grace and closed the event with blessings on me and all of us. I thought she found just the right words to consecrate to God our time together. Emcee Jerry Hancock was,… well, inimitably Jerry – funny, a little irreverent, always kind. I will certainly use the Italian bike cap and the water bottle in my bicycling this summer. Moderator Sue Jones is as gracious a person as I know, in addition (as I said at the program) to being a true model of good stewardship toward our environment. The words of the three speakers – Diana Shaw, Bob Mutton and Dave Moyer – were humbling. I had been here quite a while before Diana told me those stories about her earlier perceptions of me and things she had heard about me from someone we both knew. I’m glad her experience was so different from what she had heard and feared. Bob Mutton and I have known each other for 30 years, and I have benefitted significantly by the programs he started and/or maintained in the Southwest Wisconsin Association. Dave Moyer became Conference Minister of the Wisconsin Conference UCC just a little after I came to serve this church. He has served the conference and its churches in a time of instability, uncertainty and change; and he has attempted to fulfill his responsibilities with grace and courage. I thank all of them for their kind words. I also thank Chris Schoenwetter for some wonderful photos she took of the event. And finally, thank you to all those who came to the church on Saturday, May 12, and painted the dining room. It looks really great.

And I thank all of you for our time together as God’s people. We were not perfect, of course (I certainly know I wasn’t); but I believe deeply that we tried hard to be God’s faithful people. And we usually treated each other with kindness and respect along the way. I have been blessed to serve as one of your ministers for these almost 12 years.

As you know, I will need to be away from the church and its activities for about year (though I may sneak in and out unobtrusively for the Christmas Eve candlelight service, which I dearly love). I will not provide any ministerial services for church members, during that year or afterwards. I will continue to receive the Tower and will look forward to reading about church events and people. I will always think of you fondly, and you will always be in my prayers.

Curt Anderson

 

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 10:33 am in Featured Content.

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