Letter from Charles Grant
September 12, 2018
Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church:
With the maturity of my covenant with the Session on September 30, I will end my service with First Presbyterian Church in order to move towards retirement from the active practice of ministry after 40 years of service (I was ordained on October 8, 1978). I will preach this Sunday and on September 23, and then assist in worship on September 30, when our guest preacher will be the Rev. Carson Rhyne, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of the James.
The Session, through the Personnel Committee, has been working with me and our staff, as well as the Presbytery of the James, to assure a smooth transition and to support an exciting "fall season." Details are being presented to the Session for its final approval later this month and then shared with the congregation.
I have been thinking for a while that it was time for me to follow the advice I have long given other pastors: “It is better to leave five years too early than five minutes too late!” The extended vacation Ruthie and I had in August confirmed for me I could handle retirement. The synchronicity of the launching of a new program year of the congregation’s life, the needs of the congregation, and my readiness to retire, all confirm this is the right decision for me at this time.
I have enjoyed so much my time of ministry with you. Even though I have been a “temp” pastor for you, you have received me as one of your pastors. I have been privileged to work with the fine FPC staff, and I feel honored to have been entrusted to lead it over the last ten months. Most of all, I have been professionally fulfilled and spiritually blessed to worship with you each week.
Ruthie and I live here in Richmond, so we will continue to see each other from time to time.
My prayers are with you as you continue to lean into the next chapter in FPC’s life. I am confident, that by God’s grace, you will continue to be the anchor and leading light for Presbyterian witness in Richmond and central Virginia.
Thank you for welcoming me into the life and ministry of First Presbyterian Church.
Blessings to you all in the days and years ahead!