Dear First Congregational Church,
I write this letter of resignation with both sadness and hopefulness. For almost five years, this church has been a second home to me and my family. It’s been a great joy serving as your pastor, watching your children grow, and learning with you.
If this seems sudden, or surprising, that’s because it is. Many of you have predicted I would leave someday. If I remember correctly, those predictions started about a week into my work here. But none of us expected it would be today. All I can say to that, is when opportunity calls, you have to make a choice, or miss your chance. A former employer called Jess out of the blue with a great job offer. We turned it down, and they called back with a better one. We talked about it, we made the decision as a team, and we firmly believe it’s the right choice for our family.
If you want to come visit in Janesville, you’ll find it’s not nearly as lovely as it is here. The winters are colder, and there’s less snow. The lakes are green, with mucky bottoms, and the sand isn’t nearly as soft. What you will find is lots and lots of our family. Aunts and uncles, grandparents, and a big pile of cousins.
Knowing you, some will be worried about me not having a pulpit to fill or a congregation to serve. Don’t worry. I’m not. I’m perfectly capable or raising a ruckus if I need to, and after almost 15 years in ministry, I’m looking forward to trying something new. I meant it when I said I’m both sad and hopeful. Not just for me, but for you.
I’ve said all along this is an amazing church, and I still believe it. However much I feel sad at leaving you, I also feel that much confidence (and more!) that you will continue to grow “in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God, and with humanity.” Pastors come and pastors go, but the congregation continues.
This letter, and the announcement on Sunday, August 3, start the transition. Which would tentatively make August 31 my last Sunday, depending on the decision of the Prudential Board. You can expect more communication from them as this process unfolds. For myself, and on behalf of my family, thank you.
Rev. Rob Brink