You’ve heard the expression: “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” As Robert and his family move to Ohio this month to take on new ministries and be closer to family, I know that they’re thinking that they’re moving somewhere that will be really different from Santa Monica. There’s the weather for one thing, and the fact that it will be hard to find great Hatch Chili burritos there. But I’ve discovered a great similarity in the two places, found in their history. Turns out that Mt. Healthy, where Robert’s church is located, was originally called Mt. Pleasant. The community began to be known as Mt. Healthy in the late 1890’s because it tended to avoid the cholera epidemics of nearby Cincinnati. Similarly, around that same time, Santa Monica was known as a healthy place in which to avoid the smallpox epidemics of Los Angeles.
It’s hard to say good-bye and draw to a close this faithful, fruitful, and fun decade of ministry together. We wish the English family only the best and pledge to keep them and their new congregations in our hearts and prayers. In place of good-bye, we say “fare thee well,” an old-fashioned term that reminds us that good-byes are always blessings. We bless their coming and their going. And we are deeply grateful for God’s many blessings poured out through them that have enriched our lives so deeply.
May we and they stay strong and healthy in the days to come, entering into new chapters of life, service and ministry yet to unfold. In the words of 3 John 2: “Dear friends, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”
Thank you. And thanks be to God!