Family Ministries training this Sunday, March 22, 2-4:00 pm!
Sunday we announced that I’ve accepted a new appointment to Noblesville First UMC. The move came somewhat as a surprise. I say somewhat because I had shared with my District Superintendent that I was open to serving God wherever I can do the most for the Kingdom. I said if that means finishing my career at Old Bethel then great, or if they have somewhere else that I could make a bigger impact I was open; but they need to make that decision in the next couple of years. I was informed in December that nothing looked like a good fit so I could expect another year at OBUMC. Then in February Jack Wolfe, the pastor of 14 years at Noblesville First, went on disability and I got a call. When Michelle Cobb, the North Central District Superintendent, shared the profile of what they were looking for in pastoral leadership, it was obvious we were a great fit.
It is sad leaving Old Bethel. We have had a wonderful six years together and there is certainly more to be done. Our Hispanic Ministry and Bridges Out of Poverty initiatives are vital to the future mission of this church. However, I believe we have the necessary foundation in place to help OBUMC take the next step as long as the next pastor is on board with our vision and can hold their own in the pulpit. Our Family Ministries staff has really jelled and Pastor Matthew Phipps can provide the continuity for us to keep moving forward.
We will not know for three to four more weeks who our next pastor will be, as the cabinet is taking a three week hiatus due to the Bishop’s trip to Africa and Holy Week. Bert Kite, our District Superintendent, spent over two hours with our SPRC last Thursday developing our profile for Pastoral Leadership and he is very aware of how unique our situation is. He promises to do his very best to find the right person for Old Bethel.
My wife Nancy had a challenging start to her trip to China. Her flight to Chicago was delayed which caused her to miss her flight to Shanghai. She was able to get a later flight via Tokyo but I have not heard from her since Sunday so I will hope no news is good news. So far the bachelor living hasn’t been too bad as I took Janae out to dinner in Muncie for her birthday Tuesday and Thursday night I will head down to Louisville to take Saisha to see The Lion King at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and spend the night with my son Devin. This weekend I get to baby-sit grandson Coen as Kelsey and Matt have a little get-away in Chicago.
We had a great staff meeting Tuesday, coming up with plans to accommodate the growing Hispanic congregation. We will need to find a new place for their worship in the next few weeks and our Family Ministry team is thinking outside the box to gather more help to accommodate an expected 30 new children during 11:00 Kid’s Church. We hope you will consider if you can help in any way on a rotation basis for this ministry. If you want to explore this possibility or plan to help with VBS and/or the Youth Mission Trip this summer, be sure to come Sunday afternoon to Family Ministry Training from 2-4:00 pm.
This Sunday will be special as we recognize our Disciple Fast Track graduates. Certificates will be given to those who completed both Old and New Testament tracks and a reception will be held between services in Fellowship Hall. I will complete my sermon series on the New Testament by talking about where we go from here with this new knowledge of God’s Word. I will also share some unique thoughts on how you find your spiritual gifts. In preparation, read Matthew 28:16-20.
See you Sunday,
Rev. Jerry Rairdon