My wife, Katie is also a United Methodist Pastor. She serves Excelsior United Methodist Church; this is a big reason why you don’t see her here on Sunday mornings. We met in Graduate School, which for pastors has a special name called Seminary, in 1978. We have always been what our church world calls a “Clergy Couple.” When people ask us how we serve different churches, have a marriage that has lasted 36 years so far and raised a family, our answer is that we’ve not known anything different.
Well, something different is happening in 2018. This past Sunday my wife, Katie announced to her congregation that she will retire in June 2018. I’m not sure what all this means for us…we’ll figure it out. What is important for me to tell you today is that I AM NOT retiring. And further, I’ve not made a decision about when I will retire. I do know it will NOT be this year. Knowing that many members of EPUMC have friends or family at Excelsior UMC, I thought it was important to speak about this new development in my life.
The why of Katie’s retirement in 2018 is Katie’s story to tell. The story of why I am NOT is mine and it has a lot to do with the energy and excitement that being a part of EPUMC brings to my life. 2017 has been one of the most exhilarating and engaging years in my 35 now going on 36 years as a full time pastor.
What God is doing through each one of us and all of us together has been amazing to see from my vantage point as the pastor at EPUMC. Sometimes I like to call this vantage point a “balcony view.” From where I sit, I can see so many things working together for God’s good purposes. With all the rest of our wonderful staff, I am preparing for our Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 21. Then we will share with you the vision we have from our balcony views for EPUMC.
This vision includes our new theme for 2018 worship, “God’s Light: Seeing in a New Way.” We’ll talk about some new areas of ministry including The Sheridan Story, a food ministry to kids and families, and the Vietnamese Faith Fellowship that is now meeting in our facility. We are going to talk about the money in a new way this year. We will also elect our new leadership for 2018.
January 21, 2018 is an important morning for the life of our church. It’s going to be like creating a new folder that holds the promise of being another great year! I want to encourage you now to make it a priority for you and your family to be here to help start our new year at EPUMC.
Keep the Faith,