Goodbye Is Never Easy
By Pastor Tammy Scott
I am so grateful for each of you and the love you have for Grace Church. I have been honored to call Grace Church my home for nearly four years. In that time, I have gotten married, had twins, gotten divorced, moved a couple of times, and through all of the ups and downs I felt loved and supported by the entire congregation. During the past four years, I have grown into my role as your pastor while being both affirmed and challenged. I am so grateful for the ministry that I have been a part of at Grace Church.
Being one of your pastors has helped me to determine “a call within a call." As I have journeyed with our confirmation students, prayed with you in hospital rooms, celebrated Holy Communion and Baptisms, preached, and learned alongside you, I have also been discerning what ministry God is calling me to next. After months, in fact years, of prayer and discernment, I have answered God’s call to ordained ministry as an Elder in The United Methodist Church.
I began by having conversations with Rev. Dick Wisdom, our Aurora District Superintendent. After those initial conversations, I met with the Northern Illinois Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM), who unanimously approved me to begin the process to change from Deacon’s orders to Elder’s orders. As a result, the Bishop & Cabinet have announced that I will be appointed to serve in an Elder appointment as the pastor of Sugar Grove United Methodist Church beginning July 1, 2018.
Change is one thing in life that we can count on. In fact, Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, said that “Change is the only constant in life”, but what he didn’t believe or take into account is that God is also a constant in our lives. This is what we are taught in Sunday school and in sermons over and over again. We have personal stories and those of families and friends that confirm for us God’s constant presence in our lives. We experience God in the greatest moments of joy and celebration, we feel God’s comforting presence in our most difficult and challenging moments of life. And when we are feeling distant from God or uncertain, we have scripture to remind us of God’s constant presence. One of my favorites is Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Friends, while I am both sad to be leaving Grace Church and excited to embark on this new chapter in my ministry, I am certain that God is with each of us. In our excitement and curiosity, in our fear and doubt, in our grief and sadness, and in our shared stories...God’s love is constant for you and for me.
Please know that Grace Church will always hold a special place in my heart. It is the church where Hannah & Haylee were baptized and the church that allowed me to grow in my understanding of the ministry that God is calling me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, to serve God and to love me and my daughters.