Dear Families & Friends of Woodmar,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ!
3 “I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6
Friends, we have been through many beautiful adventures together over the past 5 ½ years! The Lord has stretched us out of our comfort zones in many ways and will continue to do so as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. It has truly been an honor and a joy to be your pastor! Serving with you as my first appointment has been a beautiful gift. I have learned much from you and will always be grateful for the time we had together.
While we were not expecting that I would be appointed to another church at this time of the year, what we can know is that God is making a way for all of us! I’m excited to see what the Holy Spirit will do through YOU in Hammond as you continue to step out in faithful obedience to God’s call to be the hands and feet of Christ!
Soon, you will be meeting Pastor Deb Rousselle; she will be in ministry with you in the month of February. I have known Pastor Deb for over two decades…you will love her! If the new pastor isn’t appointed by March, Pastor Pete Ward will be in ministry with you in March…most of you already know Pastor Pete…he will bless you as you will bless him!
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Phil. 1:3) I will always thank my God every time I remember you…no matter where I am! And, I pray that you will continue growing in your discipleship…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…that you will know WITH ALL CONFIDENCE that God has called you…has called Woodmar United Methodist Church for a holy purpose in this city…that God has called you to pour truth, light, love, and hope into the lives of our neighbors….all for the glory of God!
Woodmar, you’ve got this! And God’s got you! Thank you for loving me and my family so well and for being faithful partners in ministry. What a blessing you will be to your new pastor!
As of February 1st, I will no longer be your pastor, but I will always be your friend and sister-in-Christ and I will continue to pray for your journey. However, please don’t invite me back to officiate pastoral functions such as weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Your new pastor will walk alongside you and he/she will love you before, during, and after these events.
Friends, please…always remember who you are. Who are you? I am a beloved child of God, called and sent to make a difference in the world. Yes, that IS who we are! Thanks be to God!
Living in the Grip of God’s Grace, Pastor Esta
Dear Family & Friends of Woodmar,
I am overwhelmed by the love, thoughtfulness, care, and time you put into our farewell luncheon. The theme, “Adventure is Out There,” brought our shared ministry full-circle and pointed us all to the future...a future replete with ministry opportunities for all of us! Our futures hold God’s blessings in ways we cannot even begin to imagine! I am so thankful my pastoral ministry began at Woodmar UMC...you are a welcoming, loving congregation, and I thank my God every time I remember you! I learned a lot from you, and will carry those lessons in my heart for the rest of my life.
Thank you for loving me and our family so well! Thank you for the amazing feast at our farewell luncheon! Thank you for the cards, the kind words, and the extravagantly generous love gift! Thank you for the meaningful gifts that speak of the life and ministry we shared over the past 5 1/2 years...I will treasure them for the memories they hold. Thank you for presence, our shared faith in Christ, and our friendship. I will continue to pray for you and the work the Holy Spirit is doing through you. Your new pastor will be blessed by you! And, you will be blessed by your new pastor!
O...one more thing! Thank you for laughing with Miguel and his crazy shenanigans! Please know that you are always welcome to travel to our new parsonage by helicopter to swim in our 25 meter pool. LOL! Don’t forget your roller skates! LOL!
Until we meet again, my precious friends...adventure is out there!
With Joyful Gratitude, Pastor Esta