A Farewell from Stephan
Friends, I already miss you so much! There are so many moments I will hold on to forever. The nights and mornings I have spent with many of you at a Local Table, growing together and in Christ, were amazing. The times we gathered at the Root Cellar or House of Hops to hear what others are doing were so uplifting. The many lunches I shared with you were full of joy and inspiration. No matter the setting, you worked so hard to encourage me on this journey at Duke Divinity School and in church planting as you’re practicing it.
Not only did you each invest so wonderfully in me, you went above and beyond to love on my family, too. I cannot thank you enough for making my wife feel so warm and welcomed. And I certainly cannot say enough about how you became the village of support as we welcomed our daughter, Gemma, into the world.
Just as Gemma has grown over these last 8 months, I have grown and learned so much through my time with you. You have showed me what Christ-like love and hospitality and generosity can look like, and I cannot wait to practice these things in the next local space I move to.
Please know that you are always in my heart and prayers. I am so looking forward to hearing more of the AWEsome work that you are doing for God in and for Chatham County.
Grace and peace be with you all, until we meet again.
A Blessing for the Margeson Family
(adapted from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
God, you have called us into being through love.
You have joined us to one another in love.
How good and pleasant it is
When your people dwell together in unity.
Shine your light upon your people
That we can see the glory of eternal life.
Grant Stephan, Sierra, and Gemma the strength
To carry your blessing from this place to their next.
May they be at home in any land,
For all their earth is yours.
And, with their hopes set on your coming glory in the world,
live also as aliens in all lands.
May the lamp of your word
Guide their feet on the unsure paths of life.
Our lives are but a breath,
But our breaths are drawn from your divine Spirit.
You have created us as walking paradoxes.
Specs of dust and divine-image bearers.
We are constantly restless,
Until we rest in you.
Grant Stephan, Sierra, and Gemma a deeper fullness
Of being and spirit,
By carrying our memory with them
in the coming journey.
May their faces be fuller in glory and joy,
Now bearing new shape,
As our faces transform and supplement one another.
Go in the peace of Christ to love and serve the Lord,
Thanks be to God.