Seven years ago, you all graciously welcomed me, a seminary intern, into your midst. Through many coffees, mornings in worship, retreats, and mission trips, you invited this seminary intern to be a part of your family. And as I started a family of my own, you welcomed Olivia, Ruthie, and Foster as part of your family, as well. I am forever grateful for the love, graciousness, and hospitality extended to our family from the Shadyside Presbyterian Church family. Together we have grown in God’s ministry and have experienced God’s love through each other.
Seven years ago as an intern, I never would have seen myself serving a large urban church like Shadyside. Growing up in a small congregation and attending a medium-sized rural church in college, I remember seeing myself as a pastor of a smaller congregation. However, God called us together, and in the last seven years I have been blessed to serve in ministry with you all. Now it is hard for me to imagine serving anywhere but Shadyside. However, I have felt God moving again and have been called to serve as Associate Pastor of Discipleship at a PC(USA) church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I write this letter with both joy and sadness, as I recount so many formative memories in my life surrounded by members and friends of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. I give God thanks for placing us in one another’s lives, for the ways I have encountered God through you all, and for the opportunity to grow into the pastor that I am today.
I hope to get a chance to say goodbye to you all over the next few weeks – please be sure to reach out for a coffee – and, if our paths don’t cross before my last date, please know of my gratitude for you all. My last day in worship will be Sunday, July 14, and we will be leaving soon after to get settled in Charlotte.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. John F. Magnuson