Monday, August 4, 2014

My Pastor--A Tribute

"In the movie, Chariots of Fire all the Trainer did was prepare another man to run a race. He wasn't out in front of the crowd. In a sense, he ran his race through the other guy. That's not a bad role for a Pastor."

(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

"And even if we are occupied with important things, even if we attain honor or fall into misfortune, still let us remember how good it was once here when we were all together, united by a good and kind feeling which made us better perhaps than we are."       

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