Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Laurel, MD
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November 8, 2021

Dear Emmanuel Community,

Last week I informed the Staff Parish Relations Committee of my intent to retire from my position at Emmanuel as Minister of Pastoral Care and New Members, effective January 1, 2022.  I had originally thought I would be writing this letter much earlier in 2021, and hoped to begin full-time retirement in June of 2021.  When we received the news that Rev. Stephanie was leaving, I immediately put things on hold, knowing that I wanted to do all I could to make the transition go smoothly for the church and our new pastor. Now it feels like it's time for me to move on with my plans for retirement. I believe that stepping down from my staff position will make space for new energy and ideas to help meet the changing needs of the church that have emerged over the course of the pandemic.  The pandemic also made me aware of my deep need and desire, at this time in my life, to take time for some of my other passions like music, writing, and family.   

I want to be clear that I am not intending to disappear from Emmanuel.  I love this faith community and intend to continue to keep my Charge Conference (the clergy form of church membership) at Emmanuel. In order to shift gears from serving as a pastor to being a member of the congregation, I will not worship at Emmanuel during January and February. I am excited that Pastor Edgardo has invited me to do Blues Ash Wednesday, so you will definitely see me by Lent and after as I continue to find other ways to engage and worship with my beloved church family.   

I am deeply grateful to have served this wonderful church just short of nine years, with an amazing staff and pastors! I have learned so much from you and cherish the commitment I see in you to share God’s love for all, wrestle with tough questions and seek justice and compassion as a way of life.  I look forward to seeing new paths emerge as Emmanuel seeks to follow God’s call in the community and in the world. Thanks so much for being such an amazing community!

Peace & Love, 
Rev. Kim


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