April 3, 2019
Dear Beloved CUCC Community:
It is with a heavy heart, and a full spirit that I write these words:
I will be resigning as Pastor of Community United Church of Christ effective June 30, 2019. My family has been called to Denver, Colorado, where I will be serving as the Sr. Pastor at First Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC.
You have been such a kind and generous community, and you have welcomed my family with open arms. You have inspired me and challenged me. You have cried, laughed, and dreamed alongside me. You have loved me well over the last two years, and for that I am so thankful.
While I am saddened to know that our Pastor/parish relationship will come to an end, I am heartened to know that the Spirit connection we share will stay with me for a long time to come.
I am filled with gratitude to God, and to you, for the opportunity to have served as your Pastor;
And, in the months to come, will be praying and working alongside you as we look to your very bright future.
In our shared ministry, we have discovered that community means bluegrass music and community brunches, bright-colored flags and free-range children, Summer*Daze face paint, and youth group campouts under the stars. Sharing in ministry with you has been one of the most important markers in my faith journey; I have grown so much as a person and as a Pastor.
You are a beautiful community that lives wholeheartedly into the extravagant welcome of God. I know that you will continue to widen the circle and to embrace all those who seek a place to belong. My prayer for you as you grow and change, as you love well and forgive often, is that you will remember that you are a community called to embody God's reconciling presence of love in the world. You are rooted in the Quaker spirit of peace, contemplation and unity, and you are emboldened by the steadfastness of the Congregationalists forward thinking, free-thinking leadership. You are infused with the power of the doers and graced by the presence of the keepers; you are mind, body and spirit--you are BELOVED.
Throughout this Lenten season Spirit has been calling us to listen for what it is that God is cultivating in us, and what we need to let go of in order for new life to grow. While I never expected that the deep listening of my soul would call me to let go of "everything" I know to be home, I knew that God was cultivating in me a deeper level of trust in myself, and in Spirit to guide me. I know, too, that God is cultivating the soil of the CUCC community in order for the new beginnings we birthed together to continue to sprout and flourish. The possibilities that await you are endless!!
Know that God has woven our stories together, and even though this next step on the journey will lead us in different directions, we belong to one another.
Spirit is leading the way,
Rev. Jenny Shultz-Thomas
Here is a link to the official letter:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uOKpGa1cULQ2PL-gf8yZ18AwnCXD7kbW/view?usp=sharing