Thursday, March 23, 2017

Letter of Departure - Antioch Pastorate

Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church
2200 Country Hills Drive   Antioch, CA    94509

March 21, 2017

Dear Church Family,

2017 is certainly turning out to be a year of many transitions for our Antioch Church and School family.  Doris Walker is retiring.  Judy Keresoma is replacing her in Grades 3-4, Liliana Samuel has been hired as our new Kindergarten teacher, leaving a vacancy to fill for our Preschool Director.  Our church has a new treasurer in Dena Viera. Bernice Archie, the chairperson of our Evangelism Team has relocated to Florida to care for aged family.

These transitions of people and placement won’t end until heaven, of that we can be sure!  It’s the “Great Advent Movement” within the Advent Movement.

This letter is to communicate to you news of my own transition; my impending departure from the pastorate of the Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church.

I will be shifting ministerial gears leaving the pastoral ministry and entering into the chaplain ministry. I’ll be pursuing completing my education, certification and employability as a chaplain.  I am half-way to the educational goal already, and this seems like the right time for me to make this transition.

On April 29, I will preach a “Bible Alive” narrative sermon, a new one that has been percolating in my brain the last few years.  It is without a doubt the strangest “first person” sermon God has ever given me, and may be the strangest sermon you will ever hear.  You won’t want to miss it.  The current working title is “Beyond the Second Coming: A Bird’s Eye View”, but that may change.

My last Sabbath in the English pulpit will be May 6, with a celebration Sabbath of testimonies (coordinated by Clarence Lewis) set for May 13.  (I’ll be doing special music that day.)

Debbie and I want to thank you for the prayers, love and support that you have given to us as your pastoral household over these 8 years, 3 months and 14 days.  (That’s 3,025 days.  I know a web page tool that makes such calculations.  When it is printed that way it seems so very short.)

It has been an honor and privilege to be part of the ministry here in Antioch and the surrounding community.  We have laughed together and cried together.  We have studied together and shared baby dedications, baptisms, weddings and funerals together.  We have prayed, sung, eaten, worked and disagreed together. 

Through the ups and downs of life, God has been gracious, as always.  None of our previous 6 ministerial farewells have been easy, and this is no exception.

We all know God already has been working on the heart of your new pastor, and I know that Mr. Clarence Lewis, our head elder and the rest of our church leadership team will have God’s blessing as the process goes forward with our Northern California Conference leaders in selecting a replacement.

In God’s Ministry Together; with much love and affection,

Elder O. Kris Widmer
Pastor, Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church
January 31, 2009 – May 13, 2017.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We wish you the best in your new endeavors and will greatly miss you guys and the support you gave the church family and to ours personally. Be blessed.
*P.S. -- Please stay in touch & keep us up to date on all your adventures.

~The Sanchez Family-- Walter, Taunyana, Mark & Iliana :0)

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