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Dear Friends:

I want to thank you for such a powerful final worship service and celebration not only of my ministry, but of OUR ministry together as a church. The choir was outstanding (as usual) and I was deeply moved by Kate Swanson’s arrangement of “How Can I Keep From Singing?” composed for the occasion. How indeed can we keep from singing after a gift like that?! Amen!

Heartfelt thanks to those who organized the celebration after worship and to everyone who contributed to the gifts given to celebrate our shared ministry these past five years. We are so grateful for your thoughtfulness, generosity and creativity! The backpacks, hiking poles, Christa Douyard’s artwork, the box of love notes and the announcement of the Colloton Laney Social Justice Fund are all beautiful tributes to the ministries, experiences and relationships which have special meaning to Ann and me. Thank you! We look forward to learning how the Colloton Laney Fund encourages you on the work of pursuing the just and equitable world envisioned by the gospel. Wonderful!

What have I been up to since June 18? Mostly, I am enjoying time for reflection, more time with family, writing a draft of my second book, a few retreats, reading, attending the General Synod Meeting of the National UCC in Baltimore and some interviewing. It’s been a good mix of meaningful activity and down time.

Although there is grief for us in the transition and in my changed relationship with the congregation, I remain deeply grateful for my years at AHCC. We look forward to hearing how you continue to follow God’s call as we discern God’s will for our future, united in love for God and one another, always remembering God is good … all the time!

In faith and love,
Matt