I am writing to tell you about a forthcoming change. I will be retiring as of May 11, 2012. My last Sunday will be May 6, 2012. This decision developed out of the ongoing process of seeking Godâ€™s will for my life.
I share this news with deep feelings of affection and with a great appreciation for the contributions you have made to my life. You have invited me into the sacred spaces of your lives. Serving Christ alongside you has been a privilege. I will miss sharing your dreams and working with you to bring those dreams to reality.
God is not finished with either of us; itâ€™s just that our paths are parting for awhile. I anticipate that God will do a work of rest and re-Ââ€creating in my life, affording me time to focus on family, to drink deeply from the well of His presence, and to engage in new ways of service in His kingdom. I equally anticipate that God will do a new work in this churchâ€™s life.
Central is on the threshold of a new chapter in Godâ€™s story, one that is filled with hope and promise. You have a skilled staff, gifted ministers with pure hearts for Christ, two locations from which to impact communities, solid financial resources, and an array of knowledgeable leaders. You have a love for Christ, for each other, and for Christâ€™s church. You have a heart for a world in need. But more importantly, you serve the eternal One who brought all things into being and who will one day bring history to a close. He will continue to work in you.
Leaving the people and work I love is hard. However, with retirement, my role as senior pastor at Central Baptist Church will cease. After May 11, and following the American Baptist Ministers Council covenant and code of ethics, I must sever my ministerial leadership relationships with you. Friendships, of course, may continue. Weâ€™ll take time in the weeks ahead to talk together about what this means.
We have served our Lord side by side in many adventures of faith. We have grown spiritually together, served together, grieved together, and rejoiced together. Judi and I thank you for your support through the years, for your love, your encouragement, and your many kindnesses. You remain in our hearts.
Blessings always, Reg Mills