Which one should I send? (Okay, somewhat obviously, these are rough drafts and details will be filled in as the decision is made. But I really feel that I need to have a pretty good idea before Monday as we are going to some serious planning for this school year and if I might be leaving, it makes a big difference.) Enough commentary...
Dear beloved people of Current Congregation,
It is with thankfulness that I write this letter to you. I want to thank you for the past four years. It was with your support and love that I was transformed from a scared seminarian to a confident pastor. I have learned so much in this time with you. We've shared joyful times and difficult ones. We've worshiped God together. We've learned and we've laughed.
I believe with my whole heart that being called to this place was God's intention for me. I was called by you as a congregation to lead you for this time, but the time as come for me to lead another part of the body of Christ.
I have accepted a call to another congregation. My last day here with you will be....
Dear Call Committee of Potential Place,
I want to thank you for the time you have spent with me and for your confidence in me. I am honored and pleased that you believe I have the gifts to be your next pastor. I was pleased to meet all of you and believe that your congregation is a lovely place. However, after significant time spent in prayer and in conversation with many people who I trust, I feel that I must withdraw my name from your process.
I pray that God will lead the right person to you. You will be in my prayers.
Wow--both of these sounded different in my head and now I can't write either of them. I can't write a good-bye letter to my current congregation even though I want so badly to be gone. I can't write a letter withdrawing my name from a place that wants me, but that's in a place my husband does not want to go and would require us to live in two households for at least many months. All I want to know is what the right thing to do is...and I don't know.