Been Absent for a While

It’s been a busy time in my life and the life of Gainesville Church here in Virginia. Two weeks ago we received the news that my Associate Pastor would be appointed to take my place when I retire in June of 2023.

There is great excitement in the church and in my heart at this time. Excitement that Benson Mcglone will be stepping into my role as Lead Pastor during a planned 10 month transition. There is also a sadness that my almost 25 years here at Gainesville and almost 41 years in the Pastoral ministry will be coming to an end.

There is also an excitement with a hint of apprehension as to the next season of Ministry. I can’t imagine a retirement were I won’t be doing anything for the Kingdom of God. Right now I am wondering what that will be.

There is a song by Elevation Worship called “My Testimony.” We just sang it in worship yesterday. I love that song especially the line that says; “If I’m not dead, you’re not done,
Greater things are still to come. Oh, I believe.”

I do believe that. One of the things that I think I will be doing in the next season of life, is more writing. More blogs to come now that things will start winding down in November of this year. Like I said it is a planned and gradual transition.

It’s an exciting time for Gainesville Church and exciting time for me and Benson. If you read this blog and are in the area I invite you to come to worship any Sunday.

More to come because I am not dead and God’s not done with me

2 thoughts on “Been Absent for a While

  1. Pastor John,
    I am selfishly saddened to see that you will be retiring. I am happy for you, but sorry for myself. Although not a member of GUMC, I began attending services about three years ago and found your ability to speak directly from the heart, reassuring. Although growing up in the Presbyterian church as a youth (Sunday school, summer camp, and many other activities), I drifted away when I went off to college in 1968. For more than the past five decades, my church attendance and activities have been limited, to say the least. Over the years, I have moved often, including fifteen consecutive years living and working outside the continental US (OCONUS) in South America, South and Southwest Asia, and the Eastern Caribbean. When I began to actively look to reconnect with God on a more formal basis by finding a church to attend three years ago, it was you who brought me back. I have never lost my faith, although I have often questioned it, and drifted away from it. Even in my advanced years, I still have a long ways to go, but I want you to know that other than my mother, who passed in 2004, you have done more than anyone else in the last fifty years to help me retain a semblance of connection to God and the Church. It is not only the message, but the manner in which you deliver it that has kept me returning intermittently. Although I have not been actively attending GUMC regularly in the post-COVID era (due in part to a partial hearing loss which makes it difficult to successfully decipher the audio transmitted by the church sound system), I often watch and listen to the services live online. I will miss you. Thank you, and very best wishes as you determine your path forward in retirement. As you said in this morning’s sermon, it’s not over.
    Mike Fredericks


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