Goodbye and Thank You!

By Rev. Matthew Johnson

Friends and Members of Grace UMC: Naperville,

It was announced that, beginning July 1, I will be joining the Barrington UMC staff as associate pastor. I am grateful to all who have supported and partnered with me in ministry across these past four years.

Together, we transmit millions of digital messages of love and hope -- a feat that would have taken more than 100 years of in-building ministry to accomplish. The good news is this will continue well into the future. Because, thanks to the generosity of so many, Portico Collective is its own 501(c)(3) entity with contributors and participants who span 18 nations. Thank you for making a dream come true.

Even more so, however, I am humbled by the opportunities I was given to be your pastor: to lead during transition, to step into gaps, to be trusted to hold things together; to be a generalist and a specialist. Thank you for inviting me into your sacred moments. Thank you for allowing me to hold, teach, and guide your children. Thank you for telling me your stories of challenge and hope. Thank you for being patient with me ... for showing me grace. It has been a joy. If you'd like to catch up between now and June 10 (my final Sunday in Naperville) let's schedule time soon, as these next few weeks will go quickly.

Finally, a thank you to my partner, Emily, and daughter, LKJ. Thank you for dealing with all the schedule bits that go with this job and for my not always being physically (and emotionally) present when you need me to be. I've learned a lot this go-round, which I believe will help me do next one a little better.

People of Grace, may what remains of our time together be rooted in love, and may our future be found in the unity of peace.

Categories: pastor, leadership, staff, adults