This morning I preached the last of my services here at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Hamilton Bermuda. I say “the last” because the end of this coming week I will be officially retired! Now, I do hope that when Jill and I move to our new home in Florida that there might be a little church there who could occasionaly use the services of one “slightly used” minister. I have spent a total of 39 years in the ministry. Have all my years been sunny and bright? The answer is NO! There have been some very difficult times in ministry but I am thankful for the good Lord who has guided me through all of life's paths through the difficult times as well as the good times. I was privileged to have served in the following areas; River John, Toney River, Brule and Middleton all in Nova Scotia, Grace Church in Calary Alberta, Westminster Church Barrie Ontario, Lucaya Kirk in the Bahamas, St Marys Churcg in St Marys Ontario and finishing up at St Andrews Church here in Bermuda. Also during my ministry I managed to fit in ten years as a padre with the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserves)/
The Lord has blessed me in many ways throughout my ministry. I am most grateful for his presence and sustaining Spirit that has guided me along the way. He blessed me with a wonderful and supportive wife and together we were blessed with three great daughters. I had the honor of conducting the weddings of all our daughters and baptized most of our grandchildren.
God has placed so many wonderful people in my path during the past 39 years and I am thankful for each and everyone of them. There was Navy Jim the Hermit, there was the “Big Step Lady,” there was Glorice, there was a rebellious teenager, there was the baby I baptized in the incubator, there was the 86 year old I baptized in his farm kitchen, there was Ruby who was the angel at my shoulder, there were all the wonderful church secretaries who somehow managed to put up with me, there was Henk my fishing buddy in Calgary, there was Jake my right hand man in Barrie, there was Leon in Bermuda and there was Dugie in the Bahamas who use to call me first thing in the morning and say those wonderful words; “I've just put the tea pot on.” Oh, and did I mention that during my ministry I also was introduced to Queen Elizabeth and got to shake her hand! These are but a few of the people that I have met over the years and you will read more about them and so many other in my upcoming book; John From the Church. God bless you one and all and thank you for your prayers.
Your Pastor & Friend,