Pastor Mike Massa wrote this for the pastor who followed him.  It is a wonderful gift to actually leave a congregation when you leave.

Blessings to you on this wonderful day.

As your predecessor at Immanuel, I am giving you a very precious gift on this special day.

I promise before God and before my peers, that I will not interfere in any way in Immanuel congregation.

I will always be interested in the wonderful, mission-driven people of Immanuel, but I am now part of their past, not their present or their future.

I will not intentionally contact any member of the congregation and if accidental contact occurs, will not discuss the internal affairs of the congregation.

If I am contacted by any member, I will clarify that I am a former pastor and no longer know the current situation and needs of the congregation and will direct them to you, or to the president of the congregation.

Should my future travels in retirement bring me once again near to Cresco, and my wife and I desire to worship at Immanuel for the day, I will attempt to notify you in advance. Should that advance notification not be possible, rest assured that I will not comment on– in any way– past, current or pending future actions within the life of the congregation.

Should the very unlikely situation arise where I need to contact someone from the congregation for matters totally outside the congregation, I will definitely make you aware of that need and purpose in advance.

If some future situation within the congregation, community, or the world, leads you to revise, change or terminate things which I implemented during my decade at Immanuel, I will understand both that times and needs change, and that I am no longer aware of the internal details needed in order to make those decisions. What I did was needed in my time, I trust you will do what is needed in your time.

Again, God’s blessing on you and your ministry as you take up the spiritual leadership of one, small, wonderful part of the Body of Christ.

Pastor Michael Massa

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.

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