At worship this morning, I announced that after a great deal of thought and prayer, I’ve made the decision to retire from the Greater New Jersey Conference when the current appointment year closes at the end of June. My time here at Newfoundland has been both satisfying and challenging, and I particularly want you to know how very much I’ve appreciated the opportunity to get to know you. You are a caring, concerned, and committed congregation, and it’s been my privilege to serve you.
I came to this decision for positive, forward-looking reasons. Just as I feel called to ministry, I feel called to this next phase of my life. I am in good health, and retiring at this time gives me a chance to realize some new possibilities, including travel, a return to teaching, working on some long-planned writing projects, and being closer to our family.
Our Staff-Parish Relations Committee, under the gifted leadership of Susan Hinton, has already been in contact with our District Superintendent, Steve Bechtold. The committee and Steve will work together to ensure a smooth transition to your next minister, and I, too, look forward to working with him or her as well to foster a warm welcome.
In the meantime, we have a full five and a half months to be in supportive and dynamic ministry together. Thank you for the many ways you’ve both welcomed me as your minister and ministered to me. I hope you have found our journey together to be as fruitful as I have. May the next chapter of your life as a community of faith be rich and fulfilling, and may you continue to grow spiritually and in witness and mission. You will be a blessing to your next minister, as you’ve been to me. You have my very best wishes.
Grace and peace,
E. Richard Knox
E. Richard Knox, Ph.D., Pastor
United Methodist Church at Newfoundland
PO Box 288
Newfoundland, New Jersey 07435-0288