I have been pretty silent here, and after dealing with some hard things and good times of self-examination I read the following letter to Clackamas Park this last Sunday.
It is with great sorrow that I must resign from the role of Senior Pastor at Clackamas Park Friends Church. There are many personal and professional reasons for this necessity a few of which are:
- Analise’s ongoing health issues.
- My own sense of heartbreak around the recent Yearly Meeting Elders’ decision.
- My value of diverse opinions on scriptural interpretation.
- My desire to give people the space and time to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit for themselves without mediation.
- The pressure to be an enforcer of rules rather than a healer of souls.
While I was on vacation I did a lot of soul searching and recognize that my gifts of mercy, hospitality, generosity, leadership, preaching, and teaching have been my primary focus, and that the details of administration have fallen by the wayside with quite a few balls dropped. CPFC has grown quite a bit during my time here, and it has been a blessing to see you all begin to develop closer ties to each other through the meals after church, to see you supporting each other through times of crisis, and to help rebuild some of the trust that was damaged during the grieving period following Kevin’s death. CPFC has grown in its capacity to love and welcome and I am privileged to have played a role in that growth. I have come to deeply love this community and it breaks my heart that I am not called to continue as the leader of this church. In parting, I would like to share with you the invitation my father gave me as he lay dying: take on the compassion and longsuffering of Christ and bear it as your deepest honor.
You all will remain ever in my heart and prayers,
Gilbert L. George