Pastor Randy Retiring after 14 Years of Service to JKPC and the Community

A special message
from Pastor Randy
to the JKPC Congregation
and Community!

 

 

 

 

New Horizons

08/17/2022

    The past fourteen years as your pastor have been more wonderful than I could even imagine when I first read through the Church Information Form for John Knox Presbyterian Church while sitting at the desk in our bedroom in Reinbeck, Iowa.  In those years, Joan and I have grown to treasure each of you and to be deeply grateful for your love, support, encouragement, challenge and partnership in ministry. You have taught us so much about life, faith, and ministry and have allowed us the great privilege of walking with you through some of your life’s greatest joys and deepest challenges.  So, now with very mixed emotions and as a result of much prayer, I want to announce my plans to retire from full time ministry. 

    Fourteen years is the longest I have lived anywhere, let alone as Head of Staff at John Knox Presbyterian Church. Turning seventy seemed distant when I was in my fifties, but now it  seems a great age to begin a new chapter in my life that will allow me to take more time to be with my children and grandchildren. Ten weeks seems like a very short time to prepare for a new way of living, but November 1st, All Saints Day, sounds like the best time to begin.

I have grown, matured, and been blessed in countless ways as your pastor. It will be extremely difficult to say “goodbye” to this beloved family of friends, as you have welcomed us into your lives and have embraced our family so beautifully through the years.

    When I first came to JKPC I was excited, grateful, hopeful, and a bit overwhelmed as I began my tenure in this faith filled community. I was ecstatic to be able to lead worship, preach, and share my theological insights as well as to learn, connect, and belong to this faith filled family. You have given me the support and challenges which have made me a better person and have shaped my character to become more like the person God created me to be. I am aware, of course, that I still have much to learn, but I have seen evidence of a good work within me because you have been there for me and my family.

    I hope and pray that you will continue to grow in grace, conviction, and peace as you live out the calling God has for JKPC. I believe that, working together, you can continue to make an impact in this valley as a compassionate, collaborative, and caring Christian community.

    I take with me memories of our lives shared in openness, testimonies of unexpected God-incidences, and your willingness to serve when needed without trumpets or fanfare. While we have been at John Knox, two of our children have been married and six grandchildren have been added to our family. Our children have grown into their callings as social worker therapist, youth instructor at a wilderness training school, and as VP of a company that builds homes for first time home buyers, and slowly our extended family has added to the menagerie of animals, mostly cats and dog (s) to the McGrady-Beach clan.

    Thank you for the memories, the encouragement, and the challenges. I can definitely repeat the words I have read recently about Joseph when he was going through his trials in Genesis 39: “The LORD was with him.” So, “The LORD” has been with me just as you have been with me. I pray you will recognize that “The LORD” has been with you, too, and that he will continue to be with you as you walk your journey through this life.

    I will retire at the end of October as Pastor of John Knox Presbyterian Church. I am grateful to have lived with you these last fourteen years, but l am looking forward to hearing how you continue to grow and thrive in this place of blessedness.

       An abundance of prayers and good hope for each and every one of you,

       Pastor Randy and Joan

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