Sixteen years ago this month I began my ministry with the Presbytery of Denver. Every day of those sixteen years has possessed great joy, dynamic challenges, countless moments of fulfillment, rich and supportive relationships and an undeniable sense of God’s leading and presence. However, it is now time for the Presbytery, and for me, to prepare for another time of ministry. Therefore, I have informed the Presbytery Council of my plan to retire from my position as your Presbytery Pastor, effective November 15, 2017. It is my hope and expectation that in the months ahead the Presbytery will carry out a time of transition and proceed with plans to seek new leadership.
At the same time there are many projects, ministries, obligations and directions that I will continue to address. Selling the Presbytery Center and moving to a new location are already high priorities for the whole staff and the Presbytery leadership. New worshiping communities, new mission endeavors, new initiatives across the presbytery as well as offering pastoral care to all servants of the church, support for congregations, and continued emphasis on our partnership with the Presbytery of Zimbabwe, Highlands and diversity ministries in the Presbytery will claim my attention and enthusiasm every day. The coming months also will bring our General Assembly Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson, to visit us and the November Leadership Retreat that will lift up the essential need for evangelism in each congregation and in all of our lives. All of that, of course, is already in process or is being carefully planned because this Presbytery is blessed with committed leaders and a staff that is remarkable in its creativity, intelligence, and love for the church.
We will have much time to speak and share with each other in the coming months, but I want to assure you that my primary priority will not be on my personal decision to retire, but on our common ministry for Christ to “Journey with God Together.” I am immeasurably grateful for and humbled by our service together over the past sixteen years. Now for the days ahead I remain grateful and always hopeful for all that God is doing in, with and among us.
The Reverent Thomas Sheffield
The Presbytery of Denver