From the Pastor’s Desk…
If you have ever moved before, you know how difficult it is. Naturally, packing all of your stuff and taking it to another place is physically demanding. Emotionally it is even harder. Not only does one have to say good-bye to friends, one also says good-bye to familiarity. Our family has moved several times – such is the life of a Methodist clergy family. We’ve learned how to do the logistics of moving. But it is still hard!
We are living in that “in between” when there are boxes everywhere; some are full and some are empty and some are in between! However, because of your wonderful hospitality we are getting closer to feeling at home. Paul told the Romans, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15: 7). In so many ways you have welcomed Elizabeth, Sara, and me into your community. We look forward to beginning work and ministry at the church (and in the community).
We are so deeply grateful for those who helped to unload all of our stuff when we arrived. Many hands make easier work, or so the saying goes. With so many cheerful people the U-Haul was soon empty and our kitchen was even unpacked! Wow – what a blessing!
There has been an abundance of food that has been provided in a timely manner. It has made me wonder if it had started out as five loaves and two fish! II Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything you may share abundantly in every good work.” Clearly, this scripture lesson has been made starkly clear to us through your generosity.
Of course, it has not only been your generosity of time and work and food that has welcomed us, but also your generosity of spirit. There is a palpable feeling of joy and happiness that permeates our church and our people. You really do love one another and your church. I noticed it the first time I visited Sheridan after I had been appointed and those who were here to greet me were so enthusiastic about our town and our church. I am eager to share in worship with you; our first services together will be this Sunday, July 1. “Although you have not seen him (Jesus Christ), you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy” (I Peter 1: 8). I am confident that our deep and abiding faith in Christ and the joy that it is producing in each of us will pay amazing dividends for the Kingdom of God as together we work towards God’s vision for our church. Thank you so much for your hospitable and generous welcome and for the happy spirit that you bring to church with you.
Finally, I’d like to share a practical note. I want to be with you when you need pastoral care. However, I cannot do this unless I know about what is going on in your life. For non-emergencies, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text me at 501-786-3184. However, for emergencies, crises, or hospitalizations, please call me (same number). During normal office hours you can reach me at the church (942-4127). During off hours please call me on my mobile. Please call when you need your pastor OR if you know of someone else in the church who has suffered a crisis. I often say that I’d rather know about a need ten times rather than none.
I have so much enthusiasm about serving as your pastor and working with you to build and reveal the Kingdom of God by loving God and loving people. Thank you so much for welcoming me and my family with open arms!
– Pastor Todd-Paul