I hope this letter finds you healthy and in good spirits. Your decision to call Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis as Plymouth’s Lead Minister provides a segue for me to officially announce my own news: I will be retiring from Plymouth on December 31, 2020. DeWayne starts on December 28, so we will have a few days of overlap. It has been a joy to connect with DeWayne in the past few weeks, and you are blessed to have him join the ministerial team.
For over seventeen years I have had the privilege and joy to serve as one of your ministers. As I start to go through files and pictures, I have many, many great memories of the work we have done together: participating in worship services, weddings, and memorials; building the education wing; walking with hundreds of confirmation students; creating a viable First Service; numerous education and service trips; implementing a ministerial clergy team, and then the last three years as your Acting Senior Minister.
Of course, parting is bittersweet . . . especially so during a pandemic. I have missed being able to see you in person. I will miss being able to hug you good-bye!
But I know that there is a committee planning farewell activities. I look forward to the creative ways that will be offered for us to bid farewell. I look forward to seeing you, whether by Zoom or a parking lot event. More details will be forthcoming.
As I prepare to leave, I do want to remind you that ministers follow a code of ethics when it comes to leave-taking. These boundaries that are put into place support the church in creating a healthy relationship with the new minister and support the leaving minister in their own process of letting go. These boundaries include no performing of weddings, memorial services, baptisms, or attending worship unless invited under special circumstances.
Words fail me when it comes to all that I have learned from you as we have walked together these past few years. My life has been blessed by knowing you.
Rev. Dr. Paula Northwood