Cleaning Out

I’ve found the most interesting and heartwarming things as I’ve been cleaning out my office in preparation for retirement. Just as examples, I’ve found tiny notes from children, letters of support, newspaper articles, copies of jokes and cartoons.

Then the other day I found a little “book” that had a stack of sticky notes on each side. One side says, “Thou shalt not” and the other says, “Thou shalt.” Right away I thought, “These will be perfect for the sermon on Sunday, June 20!” as I finish my time with you with a message on the eighth commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.” This is part of the series on “Jesus and Love in the Ten Commandments.” I wonder, have you ever considered that the commandment is about more than stealing other people’s things? Maybe it’s about other things that we’re tempted to take from other people.

Then, if we’re not to steal from others, how are we to be as Jesus’ followers? I’m going to talk about that this Sunday as well. Lots of the puppets are coming to worship this Sunday, too.

This will be my last Sunday as your Lead Pastor. I will be in the office finishing up next week and then will transition into retirement. I’m looking forward to time with my family as this new phase of life begins. I know I’ve already expressed this but I can’t help saying it again. Thank you for the joy and privilege of serving as your pastor. Thank you for your gifts and cards and well wishes that have come in over these last weeks. I expect to acknowledge each gift but it may take me a while! In the meantime, please know how grateful I am for your care for me and my family.

I’ve begun to work with your new Lead Pastor, Rev. Lynn Bartlow, and know that she, along with Pastors Stuart and Kim, will provide excellent leadership for you. In the meantime, I’m enjoying going through all the little things in my office that have brought joy and encouragement over the years and have a big smile on my face, even as tears sometimes well up in my eyes and heart.

See you in worship! Recorded worship continues at 9:45 a.m. In-person worship continues at 8 a.m. (no registration required) and 10 a.m. (registration for June 27 will open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 21).

A two-sentence prayer: Give us your grace this day, O God, a deep sense of your presence and love. Guide us in all that we do, so that through us your love will be more fully known in our world. Amen.


Three ways to access our pre-recorded service:

  • From the main menu on our website click WORSHIP
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.
  • The YouTube link will also be shared on Facebook St. Mark’s UMC Tucson or use this link.

The service will go live at 9:45 a.m.