There comes a time in life when changes are necessary. My new situation with Parkinson’s Disease has accelerated the pace of change for Connie and me. We have decided to move from our home here in Oklahoma to a retirement community in South Georgia. We are trusting in the guidance of God as we relocate.
This disruption has involved the sale of our house. (It has sold quickly.) It has meant that we are engaged in a process of downsizing and letting go of familiar things. (Our children are coming next week to help us with that.) It means saying goodbye to many, many friends whom we love and with whom we have shared life for over thirty years. (We are going to miss you.)
Connie and I are exceedingly grateful for the people of Metropolitan Bible Church who supported and encouraged my ministry. In every season, we served the Lord together seeking to grow in his grace and knowledge. Metropolitan has been, and remains, a congregation committed to love, grace, and sacrificial service in the advancement of the gospel. I can never thank you enough for the privilege of being your pastor.
We are also thankful for the friendship of the members of Heritage Presbyterian Church who welcomed Connie and me, Baptists though we are, with kindness and affection. We will never forget you.
Moving away means I must say goodbye to my racquetball buddies at the Northside Y. I have known some of them for many years. They have given me friendship, laughter, and some pretty fierce competition. It’s been good for my mind, body and spirit.
The deep fellowship of the Penlights, a small group of men who love to read, is special indeed. We have met monthly for over thirty years discussing books of biography, history, philosophy. politics, theology and fiction. We have prayed for and supported each other through life’s changes. I am sure these friends are going to be praying for me now.
There is another long-standing relationship which I doubt can ever again be duplicated this side of heaven. It is a monthly gathering of fellow pastors for prayer. This interdenominational prayer group has been for us a source of strength as we have faithfully prayed for each other, for our churches, and for our city.
I will miss making music to the Lord with the choir at Heritage. They graciously welcomed me, an aging wanna-be tenor. Singing harmoniously with these wonderful people has been a source of joy.
I will miss my quiet neighborhood, the bike trails around Lake Hefner, the arts festival, Braum’s ice cream, reading Berry Tramel’s columns in The Oklahoman, watching the OKC Dodgers play at Bricktown Ballpark, the Patience Latting Library, the Oklahoma City Thunder, classical music on KUCO, and two, count ’em, two NPR radio stations, KOSU and KGOU!
The wise man of Ecclesiastes wrote, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). There comes a time to let go of the past and to embrace the future. That is what Connie and I are called to do now. And the future is as bright as the promises of God.
Pastor Randy Faulkner