Pastor's Message - One Last View from the Pulpit...
Dear New Goshenhoppen Family,
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you.
Now that my time as associate pastor at New Goshenhoppen UCC is at its end, it is time to say farewell to each other. It surely comes with great sorrow, not only due to the unique, challenging, and bonding 4 years that we experienced together, but also due to the fact that circumstances don’t allow for us to have in-person closure the way we normally would. I thank you very much to everyone who I had the chance to personally say goodbye to with individual chats, phone calls, virtual Community Office Hour visits, cards, gifts, and of course, the wonderful car parade. I have received your care and love, and am so grateful to feel your support for myself and Scott in this next chapter of our lives. We have been so lucky to be among you as we have.
Whenever a pastor leaves, it is important to go over pastoral boundaries around leave taking, as it is part of the covenant relationship between the congregation and its pastors. During worship on September 13th, we released each other from the vows that bound us together in ministry. This means that we are no longer about the work of shared ministry together, and that I am no longer available to New Goshenhoppen in a pastoral capacity.
Ministry is very public nowadays, especially in our digital world. I do have a newly created professional Facebook page called Rev. Cydney Van Dyke that you can follow, being clear that it is about my ministry in general, and not about my role as pastor in any setting. However I ask that you consider waiting to “follow” me there until a year after your next settled associate pastor is installed, in order to err on the side of being faithful to the covenant made in releasing each other of our vows. It also means that I will have to “unfriend” any New Gosh member from my personal Facebook or social media accounts come the beginning of October. All that being said, should we happen to bump into each other while out and about somewhere, please don’t run away! It would be a great surprise to see you and hear how you’re doing!
Should you think of me in the meantime, and wonder how I am doing, I ask that instead of trying to find a way to contact me, that you would instead simply say a prayer for me, hoping that I am doing well. We can trust that, through the holy and mysterious thing called the Holy Spirit, we will indeed be connected in that moment, and I will feel your care and love. As I trust that you will feel my care and love, as I will be praying for you often.
Goodbyes are never easy. Yet we trust that God is working through all things for good. God has blessed us uniquely and richly with each and every challenge that we’ve faced together over the past 4 years. I have no doubt that God is going to meet the needs of New Goshenhoppen now as well. It has been my pleasure to serve God alongside you as one of your pastors. And I wish you all nothing but the best.
Blessings be with you all.
Rev. Cydney Van Dyke