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From the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

The Rev. John Buchanan retires from Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Sunday was a big day at our church. We’re happy for John and his wife Sue. He’s prepared us well for his leaving, and we’re grateful for his parting message, as quoted in the article above, that reflects the thrust of his ministry:

The retiring pastor called on congregants at Fourth Presbyterian Church to love their neighbor regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, economics or politics.

Read that statement again. Let it soak in. A big challenge, right?

A reception followed the third packed service in the Drake Hotel. Some of my memories in pictures:

the last Sunday

associate pastors and crowd waiting

the final exit

at the Drake

tea sandwiches and scones

From the cover of Sunday’s bulletin, our minister’s parting words after every service:

Go into the world in peace and courage.

Hold to the good. Honor all God’s children.

Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.