So much has changed during this month while some things have stayed the same. Things that have changed include the news that as of July 1 Bishop Bard is appointing me as pastor of Newberry and Engadine UMC’s and Director of God’s Country Cooperative Parish (GCCP). I appreciate all the support, concern and love that has been shared with me since this news.
I have been asked if I asked for the move: No I did not. I was very surprised when the District Superintendent (DS) phoned to tell me another DS would be calling me. Then, I was just as surprised when the DS of the Norther Skies (Upper Peninsula plus a little) District called.
The church did not ask for a move either. The cabinet (the bishop and district superintendent’s) saw a need there that fit my gifts and evidently believed Marble Memorial UMC could be well served by another pastor’s gifts.
Having been a pastor in the UP for 15 years I know of these churches and have even stopped at both of these buildings. In my 25 years of pastoral ministry I have co-lead two mission trips to GCCP. The cooperative is a group of seven churches that works together to strengthen their ministry especially in outreach in their communities. They host mission teams that work mostly on home repair projects, similar to what our groups do when they go to Henderson Settlement in Kentucky. The churches and the cooperative are very active in their community. The cooperative has bought a building which will serve as its headquarters and house mission teams. No more sleeping on a sanctuary floor like last time I was there!
I have had the honor of a ‘zoom’ meeting with your new pastor, the Rev. Matt West. I really enjoyed our visit. He brings experience which will greatly help your ministry here in Milan.
I hope we can gather before I leave … but safety first! Watch for details in this time of transition.
Changes in May include Mike Williams’ last Sunday as Director of Music. Mike has decided it is time to step away from this position so he can visit his adult children who live away from Milan and spend more time with his wife. He will not have to return from camping to lead worship. I appreciate Mike’s worship leadership while I have been your pastor and have learned much from him. Mike will work with your new Director of Music to help ensure a smooth transition. Mike and his wife Laura will continue to be members and participate in the life of Marble Memorial UMC, he is just leaving his current position.
We are anticipating an announcement of the new Director of Music soon. Watch for it!!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our leaders but especially Staff-Parish Relations Committee chair who has done a GREAT job leading through all of these changes! There has been much behind the scenes work with these changes and she has lead with a wonderful spirit! All of this while learning a new job and doing it at home of course. Please join me in thanking Vicki Charter! Of course … there is much to do in these transitions and I know Vicki will continue to lead well with your support.
Some things have not changed during April. We are still staying home to do our part in lowering the impact of this virus. I am so thankful for those essential workers who are working so we can be healthy and fed! Of course, many are ill with this virus and many have died due to it. I can’t imagine dealing with a death at this time. Some congregation members have had loved ones die during this time and I am praying especially for them.
Another thing that has not changed - and never will - God is present!! God knows our thoughts, our struggles, our joys and our feelings. Remember, your feelings and emotions are your feelings and emotions. Feel them! They are okay with God! Just don’t get stuck in one. I do not believe this virus is from God but I do believe there is good that has come from it. Just think about those who have worked so hard to lead us through this time!
If you are a leader of a group in the church and want to meet via the internet please let me know. I have access to ‘Zoom’ which is a virtual meeting space.
Please feel free to contact me via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone, which includes text (906-553-1953). If you need something brought to your house, or know someone who does, please contact me I will do my best to arrange it.
See you Sunday… on-line!
Pastor Jackie Roe