(My Pastor, Steve Jones has just resigned after fifteen years of ministry in a downtown inner-city church in Birmingham, Alabama. I wrote him this letter last week--because I appreciate what he has done all these years.)
August 1, 2014
My dear, dear Steve:
Fifteen years down the Jericho Road ain’t bad. Remember one of our first meetings you had just come and we had a Maundy Thursday service and we washed each other’s feet. That was a high privilege.
You have been faithful and worked hard in a very hard place. We both know that inner-city work may be challenging and sheer fun some days but it is exhausting just to try to keep the church afloat.
When we looked for a church to join that was no question where it would be. Sunday after Sunday you stood up there with your robe on and did it. You are a good, good preacher—and that is coming from someone who is enormously picky. My wife who is even pickier says the same thing.
I was so sorry to hear about your stroke. None of us like limits—I know that well. But I have heard you have come back and that must have been hard work. So—I tip my hat to you and Libby for hanging in there.
I heard George Buttrick one day say that “all being said—I am proud to be a member of the club.” He was talking about ministry. You make me proud for being a member of the club.
God bless you both. It ain’t over till it’s over—says the theologian Yogi Bear. Gayle joins me in wishing you both the best.
Sincerely, Roger Lovette
|Easter Sunday at Southside|