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" to a congregation near the shores of Lake Norman on July 15th.  I checked the lectionary texts for that Sunday, and just did not see myself preaching any of them on my first Sunday in a new pulpit. (See lessons for Sunday July 15th).

So, I am going back to an old standby- Acts 2:42-47The early church has always fascinated me, and it has always been a basic model of ministry for me since the first time I was appointed as a pastor in January 1981.

I still believe that the Holy Spirit works in the Church, and I am convinced that when we focus on the basics, churches grow and thrive.

In the first church I served after seminary, we started a Wednesday evening program that I helped to name- Acts 2:42.  Twenty-six years later, that church is still meeting on Wednesday nights and still holds on to that name, and it continues to grow and thrive as a congregation.

Thirty-seven years after my first appointment, I am still in awe at all God has done and is doing.


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