Monday, January 27, 2014

On Leaving Alaska

I have been thinking about transitions lately.  It is no wonder since I will begin my ministry as pastor of First UMC, Bend, Oregon, on July 1 of this year.  I really want to leave well.  Five years ago after my final sermon at St. John where I served for ten years a staff member said, "Thank you for not making this all about you."

I really believe that what we do in ministry in Alaska are God-breathed words and actions.  Many go unnoticed and are lost in the fog of history.  But if what we do and say is God's work it will always matter.  God's kingdom being built one act of love at a time, especially with people pushed to the edges of society.

So I want this work to continue and find myself dreaming of a transition plan that will empower and equip the new superintendent.  The Alaska Conference has much to celebrate and build upon for the future.  Here's a short list.

  • Payment of apportionments at 94% last year.  Highest ever.
  • Sale of First Samoan property with money going back into our Legacy Fund.
  • Major funding of leadership development initiatives through the Tuell Center.
  • Imagine No Malaria events in every church has us halfway to our goal of $150,000.
  • New Certified Lay Minister training to begin this spring in Kenai and beyond.
  • Several new faith communities starting with training from the Academy for Missional Wisdom.
  • Cooperative youth ministry in Juneau.
  • Outside the box appointments such as Nome.
  • Significant relationship with our two big sister conferences.
  • Advocacy on social justice issues.
I am grateful to God and everyone in the Alaska conference for this opportunity to serve here.  My work is not completed and there is much to do until summer.  What I do from now on is done with a sense of preparing for the next leader to take up the mantle and carry on.  If you have ideas that will help with this transition please let me know.

Grace Always,
Dave

1 comment:

Michael Burke said...

Dave, Thanks for your leadership in the wider community through this last year! You have been in inspiration and show forth the Joy of God in all you do. Many Blessings!