Grace and Peace!
What an extraordinary first two months we have shared! I am so incredibly delighted and grateful to be the pastor of UMCRC!. You have welcomed Shari and me with so much care and love! It is very good to serve here!. Several of you have asked me if I like it here. The answer is unequivocally, “Yes! I love it!” It is great to be among so many wonderfully committed, kind, funny, and compassionate disciples!
I don’t need to recite all of the great things you already have done to welcome me. However, I do want to thank some specific persons for welcoming small groups into their homes, so that I could meet and greet you more personally! Special thanks to Mike and VerJoyce Salmon, Deborah Barrell and her dad, Frank, Jeanette Erwin, Stephanie Haas and Tiffany Tan, Tom and Julie Steinbach, Emily and Mike Willis, Joe and Peggy Pearce, and Debby Hicks for hosting us in your homes! Most especially, I wish to thank FAY KEREKES for coordinating ALL of these meetings! She is a wonder! If I’ve done my math correctly, she arranged for more than 90 of you to meet with me in six weeks. Most impressive! This is just the beginning of our glorious ministry together. I have no doubt that the best is yet to come!
I have identified a few places where we need to strengthen our practices, particularly around organization and administration. I am excited about the good work of the Nominating Committee in helping us to find guidance in those places. That said, I believe that we are stronger than we think and far more stable than we feel! You will find many things to look forward to in the next few months: Bible Studies, Women’s Circles, Sewing Ministry, Men’s Groups, Family Promise, The HART Shelter, Living Nativity, Craft Fairs, Lively Worship, New Sunday School Format, and the reawakening of our music ministry in worship… the list goes on! You’ll find more about all of these things in the pages of The Circuit Rider!
These first months have been precious. I am certain that we will only deepen and grow in our commitment to following Jesus, knowing God, and seeking the path of discipleship together. I know that together we will grow strong! I pray that we continue to have fun, deepen and grow, and always share the message of God’s inclusive, incredible love with everybody we meet!
This comes with lots of love! Pastor Elizabeth