Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."

This verse sums up the reason I write to you today. After six months of deep and thoughtful prayer, I discerned that my season as your senior pastor would come to a close as of June 30, 2022.

I want you to know that I love this congregation and am proud of what we accomplished these last four years. I am not leaving St. Andrew's to pastor another church or work for the Annual Conference again. I have asked our Bishop for permission to retire.

Church members and colleagues often wonder why a pastor decides to retire before 65--I will be 63 in June. Folks wonder if there is some health issue, insurmountable conflict, or ministry burnout and others wonder if the Staff Parish Relations Committee asked the Bishop for a new pastor. I want to assure you that none of those is the case. Quite the opposite is true.

This was not an easy decision - Melissa and I love St. Andrew's! But pastors are responsible for knowing when to transition to something different. I have been in full-time ministry for 41 years and served as a youth minister for two years before that, and I know I am ready to retire from full-time appointed ministry to a local church.

So what happens next? Our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Chad Anglemyer, will meet with our Staff Parish Relations Committee to discuss the leadership needs of St. Andrew's going forward. Rev. Anglemyer will work with the Bishop and Cabinet to discern a new pastor. It's a profoundly prayer-filled process. When the season of discernment is complete, the Bishop will appoint a new pastor to St. Andrew's, just as the Bishop appointed me when Bruce Davis retired.

Please be in prayer for our Staff Parish Relations Committee, our District Superintendent, and our Bishop. I also ask that you be in prayer for our staff. These transitions are stressful!

It is a joy to be the lead pastor of St. Andrew's, and I did not make this decision lightly. I ask that you pray for Melissa and me. This is stressful for us too! We will continue to live in Omaha, and Melissa will continue her work as a nurse. I will retire from full-time ministry in a congregation but not from service to Christ. I trust God with this next chapter of my life.

Of course, I am still your senior pastor through June and will give St. Andrew's and my Lord every ounce of devotion I have within me during this time of transition. I rejoice that God is doing and will continue to do great things in and through this great church.

In Christ,

Pastor Bruce