Please take time to read the last entry Finality for all of this to make since. Patrick Phillips is a long time friend and great blogger. I truly appreciate the opportunity to respond. Thanks Patrick!
Knowing nothing of this particular situation, other than the fact that you are no longer there, I can't help but wonder why a staffing change in a church requires a severing of contact that makes one feel "cut off."
It hardly seems what one would expect from the "family of God." I've known of other pastors who've separated from their churches and the contact just ended. Completely.
Why should one have to lose "the intimacy of accountability and ministry?"
The finality is my realization that God has moved us on to other things. As far as the accountability and intimacy, it is only hindered by the proximity of the people involved. All of the ministerial and support staff are the most loving gracious friends I have, but because I'm not "in the office" anymore, I miss our impromptu conversations, last minute lunch and coffee, and just being in the same building as they are. When someone leaves a church staff, even on good terms, it's still a loss and void for all involved. We all know God will fill the void. That's what He's teaching me now. I told a group of students the following about 4 years ago. "God will not take anything away that He won't fill with Himself." But as that happens, I have to empty ME. That's the hard part and it's on me. I love them dearly and they will always be family. I have been SO fortunate to work with 2 church staffs who share that connection. It's a testimony to like mindedness and Christ likeness. Thanks for helping me process my brain!