Before we left the great state of Minnesota, Mission OPC had a lovely going-away party for us.
We had a good crowd full of current and former members of the church, plus a few other friends.
As going away gifts, they gave us a big box of jelly beans, the finicky old lock from the church's front doors (which John locked and re-locked week after week until they were replaced recently), and a plaque honoring John for his hard work over the last seven years.
(The plaque reads eight years, but I guess he got credit for an extra one for good behavior.)
I made a somewhat coherent speech of thanks for the loving care we enjoyed from the congregation, then John preached. Well, it was more of a devotional-type thing, but I teased him that his coping mechanism for sorrow is theology.
Not such a bad coping mechanism, I guess.
Mission OPC will always have an enormous space in our hearts. God blessed us immensely through them and the effects of that blessing will echo through our family for years to come.
These verses from Philippians have taken on new meaning for me over the last few months and I read them with my Mission OPC family in mind.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.