There is a hymn in The Faith We Sing that has bubbled to the forefront in my prayer time, it is titled, “In the Midst of New Dimensions,” it is number 2238
In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways. Who will lead the pilgrim people’s wandering in their separate ways?
[Refrain] God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar, We your people, ours the journey now and ever, now and ever, now and ever more.
Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair, Who will lift the olive branches? Who will light the flame of care?
As we stand a world divided by our own self seeking schemes, Grant that we, your global village might envision wider dreams
We are man and we are woman, all persuasions, old and young, Each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung.
Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain, May your blazing phoenix spirit, resurrect the church again.Words and Music by Julian Rush (1985)
In many ways we are in the midst of new dimensions, as the universal church, the denomination, world, local church as we all figure out what it means to be Christ’s church following a pandemic, a time and location that has been filled with deep division, poverty, and war, a world that longs for hope and peace — to experience God’s grace. We are in the midst of new dimensions as we begin exploring what the Co-operative Parish will look like and how both congregations will be stronger because of this new partnership.
This song reminds me of our call as God’s people to lead the way in lifting the olive branch and light the flame of care for the people in our congregation and for the people in our community who need to experience healing and hope. This is not always an easy task. I wonder how you are already responding to God’s call and how God might be calling you to shift gears and be open to what the Spirit is empowering you to do in the midst of new dimensions?
In the midst of these new dimensions, I am surrounded by boxes (broken down and still full) that are being unpacked at the parsonage. I am preparing to leave on vacation for a few days to camp and find a little rest from unboxing things! In the midst of new dimensions, I have cried some tears of joy for becoming a Full Elder in the UMC and I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions since conference. There have been tears for the relationships I’ve built with people in Freeland that are transitioning to something new. There are many memories that I have been sifting through. I am looking forward to making similar memories with each of you! I am excited to see God revealed in this community, and am excited to be joining you in a few days as your Pastor.
As I prepare to join you, my tentative office hours for the summer have been set. If you wish to meet with me one on one, please contact me directly to set something up. You can contact me via email, office phone or cell phone, you may text as well. A boundary that I do my best to uphold is that between 9pm and 9am, I try my best to avoid church related communications, unless there is an emergent need. This enables me to care for myself and my personal relationships. Fridays will be my Sabbath day.
Bethany UMC: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 9am to 2pm
Otisville UMC: Wednesdays 9am to 2pm
I would also like to extend an invitation to you to join me for Tea on Tuesdays at Ten in the lounge or Fellowship Hall at Bethany. The first 3 will be on July 5th, 12th, and 19th.
My first Sunday in worship will be July 3rd. I will be presiding for Holy Communion. My first Sunday preaching will be July 10th.
July 22-30th I will be leading a high school kayak camp through Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center with two colleagues. We will be traveling to Lake Superior Provincial Park in Canada. During this time I will be out of communication. Rev. Scott Sherrill will cover Pastoral Care for me while I am away. If you have a need for Pastoral Care please contact Kory at the office or Elizabeth Whiting and they will contact him. When I return on July 31st, you will hear my reflections from the water, how I have encountered God in the week prior and the role camp and retreat ministries has had on my faith journey.
Friends, I am grateful for the ways you are already receiving me as your Pastor – for the work the Trustees and others have done at the parsonage to get it ready for me and for the hospitality you have shown me since I was introduced to your SPRC. I am looking forward to buidling more relationships with you as I get settled, and I look forward to dreaming God sized dreams with you as we live into the Cooperative Parish!
Together we serve,