Many of you knew this would be coming, but I would like to tell you all officially that I have recently accepted a job as the Director of Adult Discipleship at FUMC Allen. My final day here will be Sunday July 18th. Of course, I am both excited about the new opportunity, and sad to be leaving after nearly three years on staff at Chapel Hill UMC. I am comforted, however, by the fact that I will be remaining in the area, in the North Texas Conference, and my membership will remain at Chapel Hill as I pursue ordination. I will be nearby!
That is all I want to say about me. I would like to thank all of you for your kindness and your grace as I have grown as a pastor and a person. You have great instincts about what a church is supposed to be. I first saw it while I was interviewing. My initial interview with SPRC was on a Wednesday night, and I was very surprised to walk into an actual dance party. Jim Hanigan increased my surprise when he told me that the Square Dancers met at the church, on average, twice a month. In my time here, I have never heard anyone suggest that it was strange or uncouth that people were using the church to dance. And I think that fits you so well. And it has influenced me greatly. As I was pursuing a Master’s in Divinity, as I was thinking about what the Church is, I was seeing the church be a place where you dance. I saw it as a place where children laugh and play (even as I write this, I can hear children in both PT and the German school enjoying themselves). It is a place where young people play hide and seek and take Sunday afternoon naps. It is where life flourishes, and where people experience community with God and one another. It is the model of church that I saw here at Chapel Hill. It certainly impacted my theology of the Church.
There is much more that I could say, but I would just like to say thank you. I appreciate seeing such a healthy church, being given an opportunity to minister, and I have appreciated how my wife and I have been cared for. I have enjoyed all (or, at least a majority) of my time with the young people at the church, the staff meetings, the Sunday morning chatting, and all of the community meals and parties. I have shared many meals with you all. I look forward to watching your continued faithful ministry, and your dance parties.
Keep in touch,