[Note: Pastor Potter retired on June 30 after more than 21
years pastoring the Holland Church flock. We are keeping his last note for your reflection and memories, and wish him
and Mary a blessed and healthy retirement.]
It is time to say good-bye. How quickly the time has passed – the weeks and months of this year 2012;
the twelve months since I announced my retirement; and the twenty-one and a half years since Mary and I first came to Holland
in 1991. Now the day is nearly here and this will be my last Pastor’s Perspective for the Holland Church Newsletter. In trying to find the right words for this message I am thinking of one of my favorite books of the Bible:
the letter to the Philippians. Throughout the letter, the affection of the Apostle Paul for the church he had established
in the town of Philippi is evident. My feelings for the Holland Church are the same, and all of the apostle’s expressions
reflect my thoughts about you. Paul begins by thanking God “every time I remember you.”
He speaks of praying for the church with joy “because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
As worrisome as it may be to contemplate moving into an uncertain future, I have the same confidence in God’s plans
for Holland. He has begun a good work here as we have worked together in partnership and he will bring that work to completion. I agree with Paul’s counsel and pass it on to you: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a
manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know
that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man [person] for the faith of the gospel.” “Do
nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should
look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ
Jesus.” Of course, the passage goes on to describe the humility and self-sacrifice of Christ. Those are the characteristics
that will make Holland Church strong. And finally, rejoice in the Lord! “Rejoice in the Lord
always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” …Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”
Joy, trust and a positive attitude will enable the church and its members to weather any storms and work effectively for the
advancement of the kingdom of God. Finally, I offer a few key verses from the fourth and final
chapter of the letter to reinforce your confidence in the Lord. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Now,
with Paul, I bid you farewell – literally fare well under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. “The grace
of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” J.F.P.
Until June 30
Pastor Potter has Office Hours on
Wednesdays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Prayer Room.
Prayer Room phone – 908 995-4531.
The pastor can
be reached at other times at 1-800-273-8349 PIN 43 or cell 908-303 -6657.
Meet our Pastor
|Rev. John F. Potter
Potter has been at Holland Presbyterian Church since
January, 1991. Until January 2005 he was also
employed weekdays by the A.M. Best Company in Oldwick, NJ. Previously he had been pastor of
the Amwell First Presbyterian Church (Reaville) and the United First Presbyterian Church
of Amwell (Larison’s Corner) in Ringoes, NJ for fourteen years. Pastor Potter
is a member of the Presbytery of New Brunswick and has served as Moderator
as well as on several of its committees and task forces over the years.
came to faith in Christ as a senior in college in
1965. This conversion experience led to a complete change in his
life and career plans. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1971
and served as an unordained parish associate at Covenant Presbyterian Church in
Trenton, NJ before being called to his first pastorate in 1976.
has been married to the former Mary Raff since 1965.
They reside in Ringoes, NJ and are the parents of three grown children, John,
presently serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy with
a Marine unit in Afghanistan, Susanna and Charles.
A new grandson, James Benjamin, was born in February 2009 to Charles and his wife, Helen.