This is the last pastoral letter that I will write for the weekly newsletter. I have really been struggling with what to write for this last time. Mostly be-cause I want to say my final, final words in my last sermon on Sunday. But also because I have been trying to figure out how to find the right words that would best capture my thoughts and feelings about my ministry with you over the past 3 and a half years. So I decided to heed the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and share with you two pictures that to me illustrate both what I have received from my ministry with you and what I have tried to give to you during my ministry with you. Maybe these will say more than two thousand words would. I know that they do to me.

This first picture shows what I have received from the congregation as your pastor. It is of the Confirmation Class from last year. All of my confirmation classes have been special but the one from last year really stands out. And not just be-cause my son was in that class but it stands out because I feel like all of those amazing kids are my “sons and daughters.” Over the months that we met together, we became a true family in Christ. We prayed together, we learned with and from each other, we supported and challenged each other, and most of all, we loved each other. And I am blessed to see them grow from disciples into apostles.

And while I will forever hold a special place in my heart for Ryan, Paul, Mercer, Beckett, Ava, Maggie, Georgia and Gracie (and this picture will hang on the walls of wherever I serve next) the experience that I had with this class was really an example of what I received from the entire congregation during my ministry. Together we have all been a true family in Christ. We have prayed together, we have learned with and from each other, we have supported and challenged each other, and most of all, we have loved each other. And I am eternally grateful for this gift.


The second picture is representative of what I have tried to give to you during my minis-try among you. It was made by a choir member on Christmas Eve 2018.
This is one of my favorite pictures ever. It shows us doing what we do best. And I’m not talking about just the lovefeast and candle service. I’m talking about letting the light of Jesus Christ shine in us and through u to illuminate this dark world.

What I have tried to give you as your pastor is the reminder that you are the light that shines in the darkness, and to remember that the darkness can not and will not overcome it. It cannot and will not over-come YOU.

What I have tried to give you is the opportunity to let the light of Christ shine in you and through you so that all the world will see that light shining. So that the world will see it and know the God who sees and knows each and every one of you, the God who sees you and knows you and loves you. I have tried to help you receive the light, to help you be the light, and help you share the light. And that is what I hope and pray that you will continue to be and what you will continue to do as you live, love and serve like Jesus.

Pastor Joe

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Mrs. Rachel Moody Weavil is the Administrative Assistant at New Philadelphia Moravian Church

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