Nelson Shenk Retirement Celebration
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who brings good news.Isaiah 52:7a, NIV
The prophet Isaiah speaks of those who bring the message of good news, using the image of beautiful feet on a mountain. Pastor Nelson Shenk of Boyertown (PA) Mennonite Church has been one such person. This sentiment, and many more, were expressed at the retirement celebration for Pastor Nelson and June, his spouse, on January 30, 2022.
After 26 years of ministry at the church, the time had come for the next phase of Pastor Nelson’s life journey. This phase began by saying goodbye to what had been familiar for more than a quarter of a century at Boyertown Mennonite Church. Yet, underlying the farewell, was a strong affirmation that Jesus will continue on the journey with the congregation.
The congregation and others gathered on a beautiful, sunny, cold winter morning and were welcomed into a warm, friendly, welcoming sanctuary by God’s people gathered for worship and celebration. There was an air of excitement, anticipation, and gladness, mixed with sadness and grief, as the realization set in more deeply that this would be Pastor Nelson’s last Sunday as pastor.
The singing rang out with glorious praise; the sharing was heartfelt and genuine. The message brought a culmination to a sermon series, using the word BLESS as an acronym for the message of good news. Each letter represented an aspect of the good news and was preached by each of the leadership team members, demonstrating that the congregation has capable leaders to continue the work of ministry into the future … just as Nelson planned.
There was an air of excitement, anticipation, and gladness, mixed with sadness and grief, as the realization set in more deeply that this would be Pastor Nelson’s last Sunday as pastor.
With precautions for COVID, the church gathered for a meal and time of personal sharing following worship. There were many stories, many lives touched, and many wonderful memories and words of appreciation shared. Truly, Nelson was a beloved pastor, leader, mentor, and friend to many people, not just in the congregation but in the community as well.
The time together closed by acknowledging Acts 13:36, in which Luke states that David served the purpose God had for him. Nelson Shenk has served the purpose of God at Boyertown. Together, participants extended their hands to Nelson and June as the group prayed, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you” … as you continue to serve the purpose God has for you next. Blessings!