I understand completely, and hope you like this.
I like the following Pastor appreciation scripture for this occasion, showing how we follow their godly example:
You can start with this, from Hebrews 13:7.
"Remember your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as they do."
I'd like to thank you all for coming out tonight (today?) to celebrate our 19th Pastoral Anniversary. This is a very auspicious occasion when we will honor, thank and show our great appreciation for our wonderful Pastor, [insert name]. We are greatly appreciative of the many years of selfless dedication and unwaivering service to our congregation, which we would like to recognize at this time. I think this poem expresses our feelings.
When you came to us, we were unsure,
With all of our needs, would you endure?
There has to be times you wanted to quit,
But the Lord said "No, stick around a bit."
That bit of time, well it came and it went.
Because we needed a pastor, you were sent.
We have been through good times and bad,
But you stuck around and that makes us glad.
We share 19 years of wonderful memories here,
And all of them in our hearts, we hold dear.
You have been our pastor, our guide, and friend.
Your wisdom is so helpful, as on God you depend.
It has been 19 years of good times and bad,
Most of them were happy, but some were sad.
Some of us have gone on to be with the Lord,
But we are still here with rivers to ford.
We will have trials and storms to go through,
But you have been there and shown us what to do.
Our prayers each day include you as we pray,
And we must give thanks for you each day.
Now, may the Lord be with you all of your days
And continue to use you as you give Him praise.
We love and appreciate you for all you have done
As we look back in wonder, where have the years gone?
We hope we are fortunate enough to enjoy your company and blessed leadership for another 19 years, and many more to come!
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Edited by Cher on 9/22/2010 at 2:27 AM EST