After ten years of pastoring St. John United Methodist Church the time is quickly approaching for my departure June 14. On June 15 I will become the new superintendent of the Alaska United Methodist Conference. This is my last piece for our newsletter.
This is my last dibble! For the past ten years I have tried to poke some holes here and there to make room for some seeds of grace and truth and love to sprout in all our lives. I know that St. John will continue to thrive and grow as you move forward with your mission. I am deeply grateful for the many ways you show God’s love to the world. Kim and I enjoyed the second chapter of raising our four children at St. John. You have understood our struggles as parents. Lay leaders and staff have encountered my weaknesses and shown me grace. Kim and family will continue to be at St. John. We will remain at our home and I will have a longer commute to the conference office at East Anchorage United Methodist Church. I will return for my daughter’s wedding in July and another in September. But I will not come to worship services unless I am invited in my new role as superintendent. You need time to bond with your new pastor. I am thrilled to hand over the reins to Dr. John Dodson. John will serve you fully and ably for the next year at which time the bishop will appoint your permanent new senior pastor. The good news is that I will be involved in that new appointment. Keep in mind that this is not my church, nor is it yours. We are God’s church. This is God’s work in and through us, sometimes even despite us! So I pray for a continued servant attitude for St. John, for a deepening desire for God, and for a spirit of contagious joy that reaches out to create new places for new people.
I love you.