I was talking with my Mom this week, she said that Earl Palmer, the Senior Pastor at UPC is leaving. Here’s the note he sent out:
Dear UPC Family,
These past fifteen years as senior pastor at UPC have been totally joyous and fulfilling because I love what I am doing! I recently shared with our church Session a new vision of a ministry that would allow me to serve God in teaching, writing and encouragement of pastors and laity in a more expansive way, both here in Seattle and beyond. The Session has endorsed this vision in which I will eventually move from my current responsibilities into a new and exciting mandate. While I continue in my role fully engaged as your senior pastor, the church will spend the next year conducting a search for a new senior pastor. Following the arrival of that new pastor, I will move into this ministry-at-large post under the auspices of a newly created Encouragement Foundation formed by members and friends of UPC and managed by a separate, independent board of directors who would shepherd me in this new ministry.
As you know I don’t believe in the kind of retirement that means disrupting the biblical rhythm of the Fourth Commandment, “six days thou shalt labor, one day thou shalt rest,” and ministry with people young and old is for me the most rewarding work I know. I feel great and my health is strong, but I know that patterns change throughout our life journey, especially as our chronological age moves upward. Since this year I will turn 75, Shirley and I have been praying and thinking about this age marker and in prayerful conversations with friends this new vision has emerged.
I look forward to this year ahead of ministry here at UPC as your senior pastor, and then Shirley and I are excited about the next era that opens new ministry opportunities as the Lord leads. For us, one of the best parts of this new era is staying right here in Seattle and continuing in our friendships with you, our beloved UPC congregation. Most of all our prayer for us all is that as we grow in age we will grow in grace.
Earl F. Palmer