Monday, March 20, 2006

A word about this week's sermon

In this sermon, I refer to the "news" that Lara and Wesley and I are going to be moving to Tulsa this summer. I am tremendously thankful for the friendships and growth that the Waldron UMC has given me and my family. It was difficult to make the decision to request a move to the Oklahoma conference, but after much prayer and tears, Lara and I decided that this was the best opportunity for both of us to utilize our gifts and talents.

We have both always approached our professions as "callings," and Lara's calling is fairly specific--she specializes in evaluations for autism and learning disorders. She was recruited to the staff of Tulsa Developmental Pediatrics by her mentor from graduate school, and she will be replacing her position within the practice. This is an ideal professional arrangement for Lara, as she will be working part time and will still have plenty of time to be at home with Wesley G. I will be seeking an appointment in the Tulsa district, and will let you know what comes of that as soon as I hear.

Our prayers are focused on the continued strength of Waldron UMC. We know that this might be a tough transition for a church that has had 3 pastors in as many years. For this reason, our decision to move to Tulsa was not an easy one, but it is indeed where we feel God calling us.
Signs of hope and strength for the church in Waldron are evident--this week, on the same day we announced our coming departure, we also welcomed into membership Paige Bethel, who comes to us from Goddard UMC in Ft. Smith. She has found the community of faith at Waldron UMC to be welcoming and affirming of her discipleship. She has already volunteered to be part of our Relay for Life fundraising team, so we are truly blessed to have her as part of our family of faith. God's Spirit moves even in the difficult and painful moments of our shared walk of faith. I am confident that the next appointed pastor will build on the strengths of the church and continue to open new doors of possibilities for discipleship.


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