January 11, 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we enter 2017, I am reflecting that this marks my 35th year in the ordained ministry and my 20th year as pastor here at St. Peter’s. The majority of my ministry has been here with you. I have given prayers of thanksgiving many times, for the blessings we have shared together throughout these years. In all these times, our Lord has been with us, leading us, guiding us and sustaining us. I write to you today to announce that I will soon be entering retirement. My final Sunday as your pastor will be on Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2017.
With this announcement, I also bring you the good news that our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod and our Bishop Claire Burkat will be with you every step of the way as you prepare for and select new pastoral leadership. The Synod has a good process for pastoral transitions. Our Conference Dean, The Rev. Julie DeWerth, will walk with you throughout the various phases of that process.
It is important for us all to know that after retirement, I can no longer be your pastor or perform pastoral functions with you. Over the years our Synod has recognized that this is a very wise thing. It allows you to have all your focus on the future that God has waiting for you and that future will, indeed, be bright.
Some of you already have plans made for weddings or baptisms following the time of my retirement. Please be assured that provisions will be made so that these and all other special moments in your life will be attended to by your leaders (and other pastors) with care and sensitivity.
In the coming months, let us together celebrate what God has been doing among us and seek God’s guidance as you plan for the future of this Beloved Community. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) May you continue to share the life, love and joy of Jesus Christ with others.
The Rev. R. Bruce Todd