Rev. John Danner is leaving Saugatuck Congregational Church.
Today a couple of hundred congregants, family and friends celebrated his ministry as senior pastor. With music, remembrances, laughter and tears, he was thanked profusely for his 8 years of service.
The Sunday Thanksgiving Service included meditation, reflection and recognition of an ending. A special luncheon offered final goodbyes, along with a skit by the high school youth group, and songs from the youth and adult choirs.
Moderator Michael Hendricks noted the changes brought by Rev. Danner — who began his Saugatuck ministry on Monday, September 10, 2001:
Eight years ago, we had no Vision Statement; we were not an Open and Affirming Church; we were not a Stephens Ministry; there was no Wednesday healing service, taize service, serenity service or youth service; the senior pastor did not teach the confirmation class; there was no annual youth or junior high mission trip; there were no Advent or Lenten quiet days; there was no men’s retreat.
Rev. Danner and is wife are moving to Florida. He will be senior pastor of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ — and closer to his grandchildren.