Faces on Faith: Farewell Sanibel — with great Thanksgiving
A little over 17 years ago, the Donovan family was privileged to be called to serve at the Sanibel Community Church. Elaine and I came, with four children at our side, as the congregation invited me to become their senior pastor. Retirement calls us now, as we wrap up a wondrous time of ministry the end of January.
During this season of Thanksgiving, my heart is filled with gratitude for our time on Sanibel Island. I have been so blessed to serve a congregation that loves God, loves people, and lives that demonstrate faith with feet. The Bible says that we are to serve the Lord with gladness, and Sanibel Community Church has made that gladness come easy for me as I have served as pastor. Thanks be to God!
I am grateful for the community of Sanibel and Captiva. What a very special place. Kind of funny really – I don’t golf, fish, swim, or shell, but we have loved living here. I love it because of the people. What a beautiful tapestry of diversity and creativity! Again and again I have seen the compassion and passion of the citizens of Sanibel and Captiva to care for those in need, as we responded to one another in our own crisis times (like Hurricane Charley) and to various needs around the world. Thanks be to God!
I am grateful for the leadership of our community. Sanibel is in good hands with our city officials under the leadership of Judie Zimomra. We have a tremendous group of first responders, as well as the day-in-day out servants who care for the island. Our city council is dedicated and committed to keeping Sanibel a pristine jewel in Southwest Florida. Thanks be to God!
I am grateful for my colleagues in ministry. While we have a very loose-knit clergy group, with no real official structure and significant differences theologically, we have served together respectfully, lovingly and cooperatively. I am grateful for the deposit each of the faith expressions on Sanibel have deposited in my heart. Thanks be to God.
My prayer for each of us as we approach a day of Thanksgiving is to pause and give thanks for who we are, where we are and who we are with – all gifts to us! Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
The Rev. Dr. Daryl Donovan is the senior pastor at the Sanibel Community Church.