Showing posts from June, 2018

Summer Heat

I finished my work with the conference on Tuesday this week, even though July 1 is the official termination date.  Nothing like a few vacation days before the big move.

It has turned out to be summer, and we are seeing above average temperatures.  It seems fitting for the 4th of July Weekend.

Lots of boxes packed, stuff thrown out, other stuff moved.  All while the heat beats down on my mountain home.

In a few days, we will drive down the mountain to the flatlands. It is usually a guarantee of 10 degrees difference.  Temperatures in the mid to high eighties here, means mid-90's in our new home.

People ask what I will miss the most about mountain living, it might be this.  The weather.

Ask me again around January, and I may have a new appreciation for the flatlands.

It was 35 years ago this summer when I first experienced living in the foothills of the Carolinas.  Coming from Alabama, I knew the heat of summer.  But I didn't know what it was like to cool off in the evenings.  …

Waist Deep

A short post to say that we are waist deep in boxes and stuff, getting ready for a move.

One hundred and thirty miles seems like a long way, but really not so far.

My first move from Lake Junaluska to my first appointment as an elder in the church was about 210 miles.

I moved from there to Jackson, Mississippi, and that was about 740 miles.

I moved back to North Carolina a couple of years later, and that was 625 miles.

I moved from that church to Kobe, Japan and that was about 7,000 miles (and I did not even get a per mile moving allowance).

I returned five years later, another 7,000+ miles, and found myself in the same community for 12 years.  In many years of living, the place I had lingered the longest before now was five years in a home on Roko Island in Kobe, Japan.

So, it is exactly seven days until moving day.  One hundred-thirty miles doesn't seem that far anymore.  Boxes strewn all over a house don't seem that daunting.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.

Annual Conference

I grew up in the Alabama-West Florida Conference.

I attended my first conference at Huntingdon College in 1976 while I was just 15 years old.  I was a youth member representing the Andalusia District.  It was an eye opening experience for me.  I had never seen church people fight and debate like I did that week in sweltering heat in Montgomery, AL.  I also never felt more accepted by a group of youth than the dozen or so youth that were voting members of that conference.  Little did I know at the time that I would end up as a freshman at that little United Methodist college in the fall of 1978.

While I was student in seminary, I had some significant experiences in Western North Carolina.

First, a student appointment in Belwood, a town of 500 in the country between Morganton and Shelby.  Then I came back as a camp director for about 18 months in that same community.  While I served the church, I was encouraged to join the Western North Carolina Conference, and would then start going t…

Goodbye and Hello

On July 1, I will be preaching my last sermon at Faith UMC in Waynesville, NC before moving to Rehobeth UMC in Terrell, NC.

I have been at this church only two years, but served the church in this community for the past six years, along with having other jobs in the area for another six years,

I have called Haywood County home for twelve years, and lived in the same home for the past ten years.  These are personal records for me as an itinerant preacher.

I will be saying goodbye using the lectionary text for July 8th - Mark 6:1-13.

July 8th is transition Sunday, and I won't be preaching anywhere on that day. I didn't want to waste that Scripture.

That particular passage is quite appropriate for any of us being sent out in ministry.  Though Jesus' instructions are not being followed, given that we are going with more than we can carry, more than two tunics, and more money than I ever thought I'd make when I started this journey decades ago.

I will be saying "Hello…