At any rate, it has been a great ride! I have thoroughly enjoyed having this chance to lead such a great group of men and women who are truly committed to making this world a better place. One of the slogans of Rotary is "Service Above Self"--and I have seen that enacted many times by my fellow Rotarians.
I joined Rotary--and will continue to be an active member--because as a Pastor it is very easy to be somewhat isolated from "the real world." Not that a lot of real world issues don't surface in the church--they do. I had four deaths among my congregants in the space of just ten days over the last week or so. And we are constantly talking about, and acting on real world issues: abortion, immigration, addiction, race relations, interfaith relations, and the list goes on. Still, while we don't all agree about every aspect of theology (we are a United Church of Christ congregation, after all) we do all come from a faith-based starting point. God is present. God is love. We are called to reflect that love.
Such is not the case for much of the world--and in this country, an increasing portion of the world. But even though the theological basis may be missing, Rotary reminds me again and again, that people can work together despite that reality.
A fellow Rotarian, who served this year as President of her club, wrote me a note today that ended: "I hope you had a good year as President, I know I'm looking forward to getting my life back." I understand! But I also know I will miss ringing the bell that starts our Friday morning meetings. Like I said, it has been a good ride. I am grateful to those who entrusted me with the office. And wish my successor all the best!