From the Pastor's Desk
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion
by the day of Jesus Christ.”
Greetings in the name of Jesus! Recently, I have been thinking about things coming to a completion. During Annual Conference on June 18th, our former Associate Pastor, Luke Whipple, was ordained. Our current Associate Pastor, Matt Scott was commissioned as a provisional deacon and received his seminary diploma from United Seminary in the mail the same week. This made his graduation in May official!
These important steps in their careers mark the end of some things. For Pastor Luke, the long journey towards ordination has concluded. Pastor Matt’s years of education have ended even though he still has some work to do until he is ordained.
As I prepared to walk into the service of ordination and commissioning, I remembered that it has been 30 years since my elder’s ordination on June 16, 1991. Looking back over my ministry, I realized that in many ways the milestones achieved by these young pastors do not really mark the end. After formal education is completed, there are things to learn. There are lessons that only experience can teach. There will also be articles to read, podcasts to listen to and seminars to attend. God continues to call and shape one’s vocation even after ordination.
Recently, I attended a funeral of a colleague, who was a retired pastor in our Annual Conference. He was 84 years old and still serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry. As I worked with him, I was in awe of the experience he brought, the questions he asked candidates and the grace he extended. God was doing a work in him right up to the end of his earthly life.
As the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be coming to an end, many of us our eyeing a return to normal. I am convinced that we will not be able to go back completely to the ways things were. God is doing a new thing in our midst. For instance, some of our committees will continue to meet via Zoom, while others will return to in person meetings. We will continue to livestream worship and perfect an online ministry presence. Our Lighthouse Dinners might evolve as well. The ministries of our church will grow and adapt to the changing times. God is still at work!
The apostle Paul reminded the Philippians and us that God will continue to do a good work within us as God’s people. I know that the Lord is not finished with us yet, either individually or as His Church. I am excited to see the work God continues to do in all of us!