Faces on Faith: The new guy on the block: A letter of thanks from the heart of a Pastor
As the Pastor of the newest church on the Island, I want to express my deepest appreciation for the warm and loving welcome that I as a Pastor, and Sanibel Baptist Church as a whole, have received from the Sanibel community.
Community leaders, fellow Pastors and clergy, and people from the entire community have been so gracious in welcoming us into the Sanibel family.
I do not think I have ever felt more accepted, embraced, and made to feel at home by a community in my life.
For example, I was honored to be asked to participate in the Veteran’s Day Celebration this year where I had the opportunity to read the Scripture passage.
It was a wonderful day for both my wife, Debra, and I to meet fellow clergy and so many members of the community. I was blessed to see so many come out to honor our vets and those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom.
My heart was warmed as we all stood and sang those great American Patriotic songs. I was so blessed to stand beside my Jewish friend and my Catholic friend as we celebrated together what it means to be a part of the land of the free and the home of the brave.
In November, I was also invited to be George Washington for an evening at the annual Thanksgiving Program.
It was a lot of fun to see adults and children become Pilgrims and Indians for a night!
But it was also my opportunity to experience some of what makes Sanibel unique and great place to live.
As I watched the Children perform, listened to the Community Choir, and shared cookies and punch with the different people in the community, I learned not only that the people here have a great appreciation for the Arts; but I saw first-hand that everybody here truly respects and cares for each other.
Thanks to all of you who have made me feel both proud and privileged to call Sanibel my home. I am looking forward to be a part of other Community events in future days. I love it here!
-Pastor Mark Hutchinson, Sanibel Baptist Church