From the Pastor's Desk
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
Greetings in the name of Jesus! The book of Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is a time for every matter under heaven. There is a meaning to life’s rhythm even if we do not completely understand it. We may not fully comprehend what is happening, but God does.
We go on to read that there is a time to be born and a time to die. Life is filled with beginnings and endings. As United Methodists, we are reminded that there is a time for pastors to come to a church and a time for them to move to the next setting God is leading them to serve.
We have experienced this difficult reality at Bakerstown as we said goodbye to Pastor Luke at the end of June. Rachel’s tenure as our Children’s Ministry Director will conclude with Vacation Bible School on July 24th. There is a mixture of emotions that accompany this goodbye. We are sad that the Whipples will not be a regular part of the ministry here. We are thankful for the positive influence they have been in our lives. We are hopeful for the ways they will be used in their new ministry appointment.
This summer we find ourselves in an interim season. One of the unique features of United Methodism is that pastors are appointed by the bishop, which means one’s tenure ends June 30th and the next begins on July 1st. That is precisely how it was two years ago when I became senior pastor at Bakerstown. Your Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee decided some time ago not to receive another Associate pastor appointed by the bishop. They felt that the ministry needs of our church would best be met by hiring staff who have the gifts needed for those program ministry roles.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee and I began a process of discerning what some of those needs are. We needed someone who could lead our praise team, help us grow in our mission emphases, support our youth ministry, and provide some pastoral assistance to our senior pastor. Praise God we have found such a person!
Rev. Matthew Scott has been hired as our new Associate Pastor beginning September 1st. Pastor Matt is entering his senior year at United Seminary. He has been endorsed by the Board of Ordained Ministry to become a provisional member of our Annual Conference as a Deacon. Deacons in the United Methodist Church are ordained to serve as a bridge between the church and the world. Elders like me are called to lead and order the church. Unlike elders, deacons are not deployed by the bishop but are able to find their own employment, which then the bishop appoints them to serve.
Your Staff Parish Relations Committee has spent countless hours in prayer and in meetings to get to the place where we have hired Pastor Matt. The focus now turns to discerning the best way to meet ministry needs of our children and their families. Please join me in praying for God to lead us as we create this position and find the right person for this ministry.
There is a time to begin and a time to end. Our Christian faith reminds us that there is a time to begin again. In this unique time of interim ministry as we await the new beginnings, let us do so with prayer and in hope of what God has in store for our church, our communities, and our world.