The moving truck is empty, and the house is full — of boxes! I want to thank you for the lovely home you have provided, and for the warm welcome I have already been receiving. I am thankful for all those who prepared the parsonage for me, arrived with food, worked in the yard, and offered to help. You are a generous and faithful people!
Most of you know how strenuous it is to move, and I admit the packing and cleaning and unpacking have left me rather stiff and sore. The physical aches and pains will pass quickly, but the mental and emotional work will take a bit longer. Trying to reassemble the contents of one home into another, and learning the ways of a new congregation, are a bit like reworking a jigsaw puzzle that is different every time you do it. The pieces are basically teh same, but the picture on the front of the box keeps changing. It takes a while to adjust to new schedules, new floor plans, new people, and new communities. It requires energy, and courage, and the willingness to “not know” for a while. It requires the humility to ask for advice, to seek recommendations, to try doing things differently, and to listen carefully to the wisdom of the community I am entering. all of that can be mentally exhausting at times, and I ask for your patience.
The transition from one appointment to another also creates a roller coaster of feelings, as I leave those I have come to love in ministry, and begin to meet those I will soon love as dearly. A pastor’s heart holds years of relationships built upon sharing of stories, hospital vigils, joyful worship, and journeys of faith. I look forward to creating those new relationships with each one of you, and with those who will come to claim Bethany as home in the future. we will laugh and cry, celebrate and mourn, worship and praise, dream and reflect, as we serve God together.
I am honored to be serving as your new pastor, and I have been praying for our ministry together since my appointment was announced. I am confident God is already at work among us, and will bless our faithful efforts to honor and serve God. I am eager to see where God leads and calls us, as we begin a new season of ministry together.