Volume 36, No. 15
Dear Royal Lane,
After conferring with our deacon leadership, I am resolved that it has been a good year, and it is enough to say that together we have completed the time of our contract to work as pastor and people during the interim. The Pastor Search Committee is well on its way with their work in search of your new pastor. We, of course, continue to pray that God will lead them to discover your new pastor. My work with you will end at the close of August 2022. However, in a very real sense, your work has not and will not end. Never must you question that it takes real sweat and love to be an authentic people of God. Being real takes time and effort. Invest your best selves in being a pastor and people rich toward God.
“And then there was the fact of charm,” writes the stylist of uncommon grace, Patricia Hampl, in her sojourn in the land of memory, I Could Tell You Stories. Patricia often reminds me of you, Royal Lane, as she is a thinker whose unfailing intelligence is always informed by feeling. She writes, “Charm is powerful in normal human relations, in conversation, for instance, where being boorishly right is merely being right…. For in human relations to dispense with charm is to dispense with the other person. Oddly enough, charmlessness is not only a form of aggression but of dishonesty, a revocation of an essential part of the candor that lies at the heart of respect for others.”
Her book is a strong word about the work of becoming oneself.
Let me charm you for a moment. My favorite compliment is to share, “You’re doing a good job being you!” Let me share that with you. Royal Lane you are doing a good job being you, and I want you to do just that! Let your best selves come forth.
Perhaps akin to our great calling is that we should be charming to a fault.
I do so appreciate Royal Lane. Together you launched us in ministry many years ago. You sent us forth with assurance and conviction to live the gospel. We are forever grateful and hopeful for you.
Thank you for this year together during which we have sought to do the best that we can do with and for each other.