Dear Friends in Christ,
When Jesus was preparing to leave his disciples for the last time, he told them that they would always be united by their love for him, for God, and for one another. He reminded them that the Spirit would strengthen them and that they would receive the gift of peace. As I write this final article for the newsletter I find myself in transition. I am between two places: concluding my appointment as pastor of the Cochranton United Methodist Church and re-entering retired status for the second time. As I walk through this time of transition I am grateful for the gift of God’s peace that sustains me daily for all the changes this transition brings. His peace is offered to us all as we say our goodbyes. Even though our time together has come to an end, I believe that we will forever be united by the Spirit of God’s love in Christ. For that gift of unity I am truly grateful. I prayerfully hope that you, too, experience this same peace as you as the church transitions from the present to the future.
Although times of transition can throw us a little off balance, in the words of a ministry colleague of mine: “The best place I know to keep my balance is in God.” The best place for all of us to find balance and help as we face the challenges of transitions is to center ourselves on the peace and strength that God provides. His comforting presence will carry us all through these times. When we allow God to carry us, there is no transition that cannot be faced and conquered. It’s the same for each of us individually and certainly for us together as the church. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future–our loving God! And, with God ALL things are possible! I pray that God blesses us all as we walk through this time of transition and into the future with him.
Finally, if I have offended any of you, please forgive me. My judgments have not been infallible, and I know that what I have said and done certainly have not always pleased everyone. My call, however, has not been to please others but to be faithful to God. I am grateful that God’s mercy and grace are new every day. God can and will make all things new. Indeed, this is a day of new beginnings! Thanks be to God!
Peace and blessings,