Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Way of the Methodists

We are entering a time of transition at Saint Mark. On Sunday, our Staff-Parish Relations Committee chair announced that I am being appointed by Bishop Wallace-Padgett to serve as pastor of Arab First United Methodist Church in Arab, Alabama.

Saint Mark is truly an incredible church, well-known for doing great things in missions and hands-on ministry. Sandy and I love the people here, and the church has been very good to my family as we finished the journey of raising Jeremy and entered the transition into the empty nest. I will always cherish and value our time together, and I have learned so much about love and about life!

I couldn’t be more excited about the pastor coming to Saint Mark. Ron Gonia is a well-known, brilliant, and gifted pastor in our conference with 24 years of experience. He is presently serving as pastor of Fultondale United Methodist Church. His wife, Rachel, is also a member of the clergy and will continue serving as pastor of Hoover First UMC. They have a wonderful daughter, Jessie, who is 22 years old.

Rachel is well known in missions in our conference as former director of the Society of St. Andrew, and Ron plans to graduate in May with a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia seminary in Altanta where he did his DMin project related to his involvement in prison ministry.

Sandy and I love Saint Mark, but at the same time we are excited about the new opportunity and adventure with the people of Arab First UMC!

During Lent, I have been preaching on the theme of “The Way” and we have considered the “Way of the Pole,” the “Way of the Mud,” and the “Way of the Wind.” Smooth and healthy pastoral transitions are the “Way of the Methodists!” I look forward to the next steps of my life and ministry.