Not a Goodbye, Just a Farewell!

Author: Pastor Gerry Lopez
November 15, 2018

Seven years ago, this week, my family and I began a trip that would change our lives and allow us to serve the Lord in ministry.  On that nice, chilly November fall day, we embarked on a 16-hour trip that would take us from the tip of Florida to Takoma Park, Maryland.  It was fun to see all the welcome signs for each state, and as we left one and entered another, we knew we were that much closer to our destination.  You see, we were coming to Maryland to be interviewed for the Children’s Ministry pastor position at a church called Sligo.  We never imagined how our world would change as a result of that interview!

We arrived at our hotel room, still beaming with excitement about the prospect of this new journey. We could hardly sleep that night and rose early the following morning, as we had a meeting scheduled with Sligo Church’s pastoral team and would also be given a tour of the church building.  That evening we met with the church board.  I remember clearly the ‘butterflies’ in my stomach, and I know my wife felt the same, because when I held her hand it was sweaty.  During the interview, 30 plus people asked us questions, and although overwhelming, the experience was not bad at all; everyone seemed to be on our side.  We were asked to wait in the Discipleship Room following the interview, to allow the board to discuss my suitability for the position, based on what they had heard.  When we were called back to the meeting, we were asked if would accept a call to come and be part of the pastoral team at Sligo, and as they say, the rest is history!

From the moment we were introduced  to the church, Sligo became home for the Lopez clan. We have felt loved and supported.  Our family lives in Southern California, on the other side of the country. We have been away from them for a while, starting with the time we spent on the enchanted island of Puerto Rico.  But since arriving in Maryland, Sligo has become our second family, and we have met some wonderful people, who have shown us love and kindness.  Sligo is a warm and welcoming church, despite its size.  As I look back and reflect on the seven years of serving Sligo, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this wonderful congregation.  I know that the Lord will continue to use this church to further His mission.

I have enjoyed working with the teams that the Lord has put together in Children’s Ministry and Family Ministry.  I want to thank each leader who has helped to make these ministries what they are today: Darrell, Joel, Rowena, Othniel, Tonja, Beverly, Christina, Karen, Nathan, Emily, Gabby, Jessica, Victor and Cynthia, Andy and Jessica, Rachele, Gloria and Amram, Ellen and Prince, Joy, Marcus, Kenya, Danny, Dana, Maybelle and Jerry, Neil, Allan, Ja’zen, Zena, Diana, Yonnette and Anton, Joviah and all the SS teachers and leaders, Kara, Rythee, Maleek, Lasalle and Aaron, Gabrielle, Theresa, Lupita, Daphne, Marina, Josh, Matt, Kwame and Stephanie, Jordan, Vernon, Tabitha, Melanie, Gail, Michaela, Jonathan, Ron and Lara, Leida and Miguel, Jonathan and Jennifer, Kaingu and Walya, Stephanie, Anthony and Joey, and Thelma.  I couldn’t have done it without you, and I pray that the Lord will bless you all as you continue to grow these ministries for His glory. 

Sligo, thank you for your love and affection, for your willingness to support and trust me as your Children and Family pastor for seven years, and for being there for my family throughout.  God bless you all!  

7700 Carroll Ave |  Takoma PARK, MD 20912