Shiloh, for the last four years you have been a gift! You have been a gift of grace, love, and leadership. You’ve been a space and place for me to train and to work my leadership muscles. There have been moments that I’m sure you’ve wanted to write the Bishop and say, “I’m not too sure about this,” but there have been other moments when God’s presence has been so real, so tangible we could literally feel it. We knew we were making the right decisions. Perhaps one of the reasons I am struggling to say goodbye is because I am inspired by your courage. You have a history of courage: your forefathers and mothers in the faith stepped out in courage determined to start a Methodist movement right on the corner of Anderson Ferry and Foley Road. They were determined to see lives transformed, to touch a community, and to make disciples for the transformation of the world! But that courage didn’t stop with them! No! You were determined to do your part by investing your lives and resources in this movement of God! And for you, it wasn’t just about Delhi. You had the courage to say our neighbors in Price Hill are also part of this God movement and so you’ve decided we have to invest God’s resources in Price Hill! And now you have the courage to move on, to rally behind an exceptional leader, Rev. David Hood. Pastor Dave is one of the most courageous leaders I know, his faith is genuine, his walk with Jesus real, and he is going to challenge Shiloh to continue to take courageous steps into God’s future! But in order for Shiloh’s future to be God’s future, I have to say goodbye.
Goodbye, Shiloh. When greeting the church in Thessalonica, Paul wrote, “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1: 2 NIV). Shiloh, I thank God for you! I thank God for the gift you have been in my life and the life of my family! We will never be the same because of your generosity and love. Shiloh, you will always be in my prayers! I will pray for you! I will pray that God continues to give you the gift of courage, and I will pray that God ignites a movement so full of God’s fire that the whole world is touched by its flames! Shiloh, I love you!
With Jesus’ Love,