Sunday, October 17, 2010

Moving ... Literally.

I just preached one of the most emotional sermons of my entire life.

Did you know that if you grip a pulpit tight enough, it will keep you from crying?  True fact.  This method held me together during two services this morning.

I'm not sure I have the emotional capacity right now to go into the details again, so I am just going to copy/paste a letter that was read to my home congregation in Connecticut this morning.


To my friends and family at the First Congregational Church of Kent,

I cannot believe it has been over a month since I last visited and stood behind my favorite pulpit. It really seems like it was just yesterday.

I know that many of you are curious about what my next step is and when it will take place. Unfortunately, during my September visit, things in my ordination process had kind of stalled and I didn’t have an answer for you. I have much better news today.

This past Thursday I met with the committee on Church and Ministry via conference call for my final ordination interview. They voted affirmatively to call my Ecclesiastical Council and on December 12 at 3 p.m. I will go before the delegates from the Litchfield North Association. They will vote on whether or not to approve me for ordination. The Ecclesiastical Council will happen here at the church and I would love it if you all were there. Stay tuned for more details.

Once I pass my Ecclesiastical Council, I will begin the search and call process. It is only after I am called that a service of ordination will be held. These steps aren’t immediate and it will probably be several months before I am called and ordained, but I am excited to be moving forward in a positive direction.

Speaking of moving. I was told by someone on the conference staff that churches would have more confidence in calling me if I lived in close proximity to them. And while I plan on doing a nationwide search, it is no secret that the northeast has not only a high concentration of UCC churches, but also most of our family.

So Bruce and I are moving to Connecticut, specifically to Gaylordsville. We are leaving Atlanta on December 7th and will arrive on the 8th. While it is bittersweet to leave a place that has become home and a group of people that have become family, we are looking forward to the opportunities we will have once we find ourselves north of the Mason Dixon Line again.

Words cannot express how appreciative I am of all the love and support you have given me over the past couple of years. And while I would love to be in a position where I am serving my own church, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend some time with you all again before I start onto the next phase of my life.

Please keep us in your prayers as we begin to make this transition.

With Peace & Love,


So there it is.  After three years of southern living, Bruce and I are pulling out our winter coats and boots and moving north.  While this letter was being read in Connecticut, I was telling my church here in Georgia that we will be leaving.  This was the last time I will preach before we move and I cannot even begin to describe the emotional roller coaster of a sermon this was to preach.  Eventually I might feel up to posting the full sermon here.

This decision is bittersweet (I didn't think it was possible to be so excited and so heartbroken about something at the same time) and did not come easy for us - are friends here aren't just friends, they are family.  It absolutely breaks my heart to think about leaving them.  But we both know that this is the right move and are excited about what the future holds.

Feel free to ask any questions (here or on facebook/twitter) about the move and I'll come back and answer them when I'm not so emotionally spent.

Thanks for all the love and support over the past couple of weeks.  The conference call I talked about on Thursday was the meeting I talked about in this letter.  I didn't want to say too much on here until we announced this to our churches, and, I have to say, it feels wonderful to be able to finally fill in some of the blanks.

More blanks to be filled in later.

Love you all,


  1. wow! that has to be hard! & exciting! Lots of mixed feelings going on, huh? Praying for y'all!

  2. Sarah I'm so happy/sad for you! I totally get the bittersweetness of it all. I know you will love being back in Connecticut. I am planning on visiting Atlanta in February and I was hoping to see you and Bruce then but you will already be gone! Maybe I'll make it to Connecticut sometime or y'all can make it out to Iowa!

  3. At least you're moving in happy circumstances :) You'll have so much going on for your in your new home! And you'll be able to visit your friends (well, family :)) back in Atlanta..they'll always be there for you, physically and in spirit. It's truly is bittersweet, but to grow, you must change. And you're growing. :)

  4. I understand that bittersweet feeling :-) It's so great that you can move next to family at least! And as hard as it is to realize it sometime, change= growth :-)


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