From the Pastor’s Pen – April 2016


The Story in April:

April 3                   Chapter 28 – New Beginnings

April 10                 Chapter 29 – Paul’s Mission

April 17                 Chapter 30 – Paul’s Final Days

April 24                 Chapter 31 – The End of Time


Dear Church Family,

At this time most of you have are likely aware that the Pastor Parish Relations Committee met, Wednesday, March 16th, with our District Superintendent, Rev. Mark Norman.  The purpose of this meeting was to inform the committee that I will be reappointed by our Bishop beginning July 1, 2016, to serve as the Senior Pastor of Greenwood UMC.

During this conversation the PPR Committee discussed with Rev. Norman an extensive profile for your next Pastor.  They highlighted the importance of the Summer Feeding Program, and their desire for a pastor to be appointed who could continue to help the growth of the Church through community involvement and outreach.

Sheridan FUMC is a wonderful congregation, and it is truly a blessing to be in ministry with you.  I am grateful for the support you have given me as we have taken bold steps in ministry together and have engaged the mission field around us.  The success of the Summer Feeding program is due to your love for our community and your willingness to make a difference.  It has also been a joy to participate in “The Story” with you during the last year I am honored that I have been able to serve as your Pastor, and to call you my family!

At this point you may be asking what’s next.

First, we need to start praying that God will continue to bless us as we serve in ministry together these next few months.  During this time we will be planning the Summer Feeding Program and getting it off of the ground for an even more successful year.  We will also be in a process of transitioning our leadership, and doing everything that we can to help your next pastor get off to a great start.

Secondly, we need to pray for our Bishop and the Cabinet as they consider the profile of our congregation, and discern who God is calling to be your next Pastor.  The Cabinet did not meet during Holy Week, so it may be a few weeks before we learn the name of our new Pastor.  However, it is not too early to start praying for that Pastor and their family in a time that will also become a transition for them.  I believe that God is truly a part of our appointive process and I know God is already preparing this Pastor to be in ministry here, and to continue the great work of this Church!

Thirdly, I ask that you pray for me and my family in this time of transition.  We are leaving a Church that we love and are grateful to be in service with, but also feel that we are now being called to serve in new ways in a new place.  As and Elder in the United Methodist Church, I entered into a covenant relationship with the Annual Conference to be appointed based on the needs and calling of the UMC in Arkansas.  This calling has placed my family in different communities over the last 15 years, and every time we have grown with the churches that we have been called to serve with.  I am grateful for the growth that we have experienced together here in Sheridan, and will always be blessed by our time together.

I am proud of the work that we have accomplished together, and for your willingness to engage the mission field with me.  I know that you will keep this amazing work going, and will find even greater success in ministry in the years to come.


In Christ,

Rev. John Embrey

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