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Pastor Richard, as you leave our community of faith, we wish to bid you farewell. A reading from Exodus: The Lord said, “I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.”

A reading from Isaiah: Thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Pastor Richard, on June 9, 2002, we called you to be our pastor: to proclaim God’s Word, to baptize new members into the Church of Jesus Christ, to announce God’s forgiveness to us, and to preside at our celebrations of the Lord’s Supper. With the Gospel you have comforted us in times of sickness and trouble, and at the death of our loved ones. Sharing our joys and sorrows, you and Ruth have been important to our life together in the Church of Jesus Christ and in our service to this community.

Let us pray! Gracious God, we thank you for the work and witness of your servants Ruth and Richard, who have enriched St. Peter’s and shared their gifts with us. Now bless and preserve them what is needed, friends to cheer their way, and a clear vision of that to which you are now calling them. By your Holy Spirit be present in their pilgrimage that they may travel with the one who is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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