Community in Action July 16, 2020

    Today is a special day for me, well for myself and Joan. Today is our anniversary. Today is a day of celebration for decades of companionship. It has been a wild ride in so many ways. Yet through it all we have been sustained by God’s grace.

    Who would have thought that the long-haired, book-loving, tall guy, known affectionally around the preschoolers as “Man-Nancy” would have someone who would partner with him to raise three children, leave a secure banking job, travel to Iowa for a third graduate degree, and then become a pastor 2,000 miles from where they had lived almost all their lives?

    Joan is the adventuress who is up for anything. She even traveled to Africa living for a month in the late nineties with a friend we had met when we were in seminary. Of course she was one of the JKPCers who participated in the Amor Mission trip to South Africa a few years back.

    We have been partners not only in life, but in ministry. I could not do what I do without her support, emotional and spiritual. I remember when we were first married how Joan and I coordinated a monthly worship service at convalescent home in Woodside. We did this for seven years, stopping only after we had our first child. The seven year celebration at the convalescent home included cupcakes and I found out that next time it would be better to bring cupcakes without wrappers since some of the less lucid residents at the whole thing, paper wrapper and all.

    So in some ways the pathway to ordination in the Presbyterian Church by way of Dubuque, Iowa was not out of the ordinary. Setting up our home two thousand miles away from the major portion our family for fourteen years as we lead a small church in rural Iowa was just another part of that journey.

    Now being back in the Bay Area where we both grew up and have so many memories of our early years has been great during these last twelve years, but again it was not our plan, it was not our goal, it was not our vision, but through the grace of God we have journeyed to the place that we feel called to serve and keep serving.

    I find it so interesting that it is in the middle of the book of Lamentations when the Israelites are in exile and the clouds of unknowing surround them we find one of God’s most famous promises. It is something that I think has helped us through the ups and downs of decades of partnership. Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

    I can say that it is because of God’s faithfulness that we have experienced the beauty, wonder, and grace of God. It has been a wonderful time together and wish for each of your a friendship or companion like I have had. The companionship has made life so rich I can’t image what I would have missed without her.

    Blessings to you,

    Pastor Randy

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