This is volume 52 of book 6 of One on One’s. Do the math and then you realize I’ve written 312 of these epistles. That represents 312 weeks of ministry, and my, it has gone fast. I won’t say it has been the best six years of my life because I sure miss those childrearing years but it has been my best years of ministry. I feel I’ve grown so much as a pastor, preacher, leader, and person and most definitely, as a Christian. I’ve been surrounded by a great staff and by so many great and faithful people. You have inspired me to give God my very best and together we have accomplished so much.
Old Bethel has become a church that attracts people looking for a place to make a difference in the community. And we are making a difference. It is also a place that is moving in the right direction. We are an externally focused congregation and we are learning every day how to do it better. I really do wish I could have at least two more years at Old Bethel to see some of our dreams to fruition but with Pastor Jen following I know you are in very good hands. I also know that what I’ve learned these past six years is going to be put to good use in the Noblesville community. I am seeing a lot of signs of compatibility with Noblesville First, which means the next several years I can probably make an even bigger impact for the Kingdom of God. What an honor to be used by God and feel that I am lining up with His purposes!
This week has been sad one for me as I am packing up the rest of my office. Most of our staff is on the Youth Mission Trip so it is very quiet at the church. However, a few items are worth noting. Last Saturday I trained Deniece Carmean to be our new wedding coordinator. She attends our 11:00 worship and has a great combination of patience with people but assertive when she needs to be. She has previous experience running beauty pageants and has some ideas on how to market the church as a wedding venue in order to connect with young couples in the community.
Much of this week has been spent in conversation with Pastor Jen and Pastor Saul Sauceda. Last Thursday we learned that our Hispanic Ministry was approved by the Conference Congregational Development Team and now we are trying to work out a rental home for Saul and Irma. Keep praying on that issue so Pastor Saul can start July 1st.
I also learned at the Administrative Council meeting that Pastor Jen has a great name for the upcoming meet and greets. She is calling them Hearts and Stories. We are looking for people to host gatherings of no more than 15-20 people where she can learn where our hearts are and our personal stories. You are going to find Jen to be a very caring person. After getting to know her these past couple of months I am envious. I would love her as my pastor. She is a wonderful person in addition to being a strong leader.
This Sunday will be an emotional one for me. I wrote my sermon earlier this week and I hope I’ve gotten some of my tears out of the way. June Hannah will have the choir back for this farewell service. I’ve titled my message “Letting go,” in preparation read 1 Corinthians 3:1-14. I also understand the SPRC Committee has some special plans for the farewell reception from 2-4 pm on Sunday.
See you Sunday,