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We’re a tiny denomination, but God’s Spirit has blessed us with a very big heart and a significant reach that embraces our planet.

My work with The Banner is drawing to a close at the end of August. I hope to reserve my last editorial (July/August issue) for what may “pop” at Synod 2015. So let me take this opportunity to celebrate and thank from the bottom of my heart my colleagues, with whom I have had the privilege of working on the magazine, and, before that, for eight years with Faith Alive Christian Resources. I include the many, many dedicated folks from all the denominational agencies, ministries, boards, and committees with whom I have visioned, prayed, contemplated, planned, collaborated, negotiated, commiserated, and, yes, sometimes vituperated.

I thank God for all of them. They have taught me so much and enriched and broadened my life’s journey in so many meaningful ways. It has been a real joy working with them in denominational ministry.

I wish you were “here,” interacting physically or virtually, on a daily basis, with the staff and volunteers who lead and carry out our denominational work. Had you been able these years to peek over my shoulder, you would be amazed at the high level of dedication, giftedness, and servanthood shown by these folks. Their kindness. Their genuine desire to work together. Their enthusiasm. Their professionalism. And, most of all, their love for Jesus.

I owe you, faithful CRC member, my thanks as well. Not only for your encouragement, advice, admonition, ideas, and article contributions, but also for your faithful financial giving that allows all these good folks to contribute so much to God’s mission in this world. We’re a tiny denomination, but God’s Spirit has blessed us with a very big heart and a significant reach that embraces our planet.

I also wish you were “here” to see the way our denominational folks work together so well not in spite of, but because of, their diversity. No doubt we have a ways to go to be as inclusive as God wants us to be. Nevertheless, on a regular basis I have enjoyed the privilege of rubbing shoulders with African Americans and Dutch immigrants, Republicans and Democrats, “progressives” and “conservatives,” “Yanks” and “Canucks,” old earth and young earth creationists, the wealthy and the poor, the healthy and the hurting. God’s Spirit has endowed them all with sincerity, maturity, respect, and love. If we will follow their example, our congregations will be far better places.

So to my colleagues here at The Banner, past and present, and the many with whom we collaborate, thanks so very, very much for your dedicated service. You rock! And to all with whom I’ve crossed paths at the denom level, bless you for your work. It’s stellar.

And to you, dear reader, I extend my heartfelt thanks. You have made me more confident than ever that by “speaking the truth in love, we [will indeed] grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love” (Eph. 4:15-16, NRSV). God bless you all.

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