To the wonderful people of Grace Chapel,
The Apostle Paul begins his letters with thanksgiving, particularly for the people who will read his letters. I, too, thank my heavenly Father for you, the wonderful people of Grace Chapel. I sat down and read every one of the cards and letters you sent to me. Some made me smile. Others brought a tear to my eye. But all of them filled me with gratitude for you and the time we've had together. You are all dear to me and my family.
The gifts were eye opening and humbling. The check in the envelope took my breath away. The picture of the Lamb of God, Jesus who sacrificed Himself to bring us together in His Church, is in my Seminary office. The face of Jesus will be in a prominent place in our house so everyone who visits will look into His caring eyes and warm welcome. Sue loved the bouquet of flowers. Noah has enjoyed the carrots immensely!
As I mentioned at worship on Sunday, Grace Chapel will always hold a special place in my heart. I count it as a blessing to have supported your pastors and the ministry of the congregation. I was able to put into practice what I teach in my classrooms. You are part of what I give to my students about giving sermons. But I especially appreciate hearing you call me "Pastor Nielsen," for that is the sacred honor and privilege I have had while serving you.
So, "Thank You!" Of course, I also thank Jesus that I was gifted some 25 years of being one of your pastors.
In His Service,