…from Pastor Bill…and Sue
Dear Pittman Park Family,
It was June of 2013 that we moved to Statesboro. Bishop King had no idea he was appointing us to the very church in which we had been married – and for Sue, the church her father had pastored when she was in high school. We smiled to ourselves at the thought of returning to Pittman Park. From the very moment we arrived, you welcomed us with such loving kindness. Our hearts quickly connected with the church and the community.
As we have reflected on these nine years, we realize we have truly found home in this setting. You have helped us to feel at peace here. In addition, a list of “big events” have happened in our family. Two of our daughters have married during this time …and all five of our grandchildren have been born while we have been here! You have met them from time to time when they have been with us in worship on Sunday morning. Wow! A lot can happen in nine years!
We have especially enjoyed two high moments of celebration at Pittman Park. We all rejoiced together at the 60th anniversary of our beloved church’s founding. In addition, what a massive project we took on when finally, the decision was made to replace the old slate roof. And, do you remember the celebration we had in paying off that debt? What a day that was!
Of course we have had some challenges too. The one that beats anything we’ve experienced in our 40 years of ministry is the COVID pandemic. But hasn’t it been interesting how from this difficulty we have developed a thriving video ministry, giving people an opportunity to worship online and stay connected when they are not able to be present in person? It is very evident that God has been with us, guiding us through these difficult waters for the past couple of years.
Perhaps the most significant thing has been the deaths of so many dear souls over the past nine years. But a 102-year-old member of Pittman Park (it shouldn’t be too hard for you to figure out who) said to me, “Isn’t it wonderful how people just pick up things and carry on!” How true! How true! All of you continue to amaze me at your commitment to fill the gap with ministry and missions. Also, the Lord is constantly connecting others too. I celebrate the wonderful additions to our church membership this spring …and the infant baptisms that seem to be happening so often now. I am encouraged by all this and believe that God is guiding Pittman Park into a wonderful future. One sure sign of this is that Jonathan Smith will assume leadership as pastor of Pittman Park within the next week. Jonathan is not only the right person; this is the right time for him to be here. Our hearts are particularly glad that Jonathan, Stephanie, Addie and Lily Grace will shortly be occupying this parsonage which has provided such a beautiful space for us to gather with our family.
There are things that we will miss – particularly the Wednesday evening “Open Table” meals, and the guys in the Grilled Cheese Group will be on my mind every Monday at noon. But most of all we will just miss each of you who have come to be such a part of our lives. Word has already circulated that we will be moving to St. Simons Island. We will be renting a small home right next to Epworth By The Sea – the church camp where we met when we were in high school. We feel that God has been guiding us full circle back to this place.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the time we have spent here with you at Pittman Park. We will forever hold you in our hearts.
Grace and Peace,
Bill and Sue