Pastor's Corner May 2009
Thank you so much for the ministry we have done together this year. When I had my initial interview with the Staff Parish Relations Committee we established that this would be a one-year appointment. We had the reminder that all United Methodist appointments are for one year at a time. There were several factors involved in that, and we acknowledged that we would talk more firmly about that in the Spring.
Spring has come, and I am ready to honor the commitment I made with the District and with Ojai UMC, through the Staff Parish Relations Committee. I will be here for the remainder of the appointment year, and July 1, 2009 I will be moving to Santa Maria to start as the pastor of Santa Maria: St. Andrew United Methodist Church, in Orcutt.
Anna and I have been so blessed in our time with you all. We have had the opportunity to heal from hurts and wounds in our lives through the gracious love and hospitality of this congregation. There are no amount of words to express our gratitude for your care in this way. Additionally, we have watched how you have loved and adored Sophia during this year. As parents we could ask for nothing better than to watch our child grow in love, and likewise the congregation in this relationship.
I will treasure the relationships I have made here at Ojai UMC. You have been amazing as you have discovered with me, the spiritual gifts of individuals in the congregation, as well as the congregational spiritual gifts. We have uncovered the deep calling of the Holy Spirit for the Vision of Ojai UMC. "We are to be showing the love of God to the community of the Ojai Valley through the 4 Rs: Reconciliation, Renewal, Revitalization and Restoration".
I loved getting to know you through personal conversations, worshiping together, dinners and events. There is great life here at Ojai UMC, and my prayer remains that the community would be invited to participate. Going into the world as Jesus commands us in Matthew 28 reminds us that the life of a Christian is more than being hospitable to those who come into your midst. We must go out and seek out the tired, poor, hurting and unloved.
And, as I have told several people already, "I am not done here." There is still work to do, and preparations to be made. We have plans and hopes to accomplish yet in these next two months. I am excited for the ministries that are beginning to take flight, like the Congregational Care Circles, the partnership with Raising Micah for the Fall, the ideas and dreams that are coming out of the Boot Camp experience, as well as the ongoing work of the church with HELP of Ojai, the Boy Scouts, and especially, Noah's Ark Preschool.