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Wow! This first month has really passed quickly! I am overwhelmed at the generosity and encouragement you have shown to me as I have made the transition in assuming my role as your pastor. I have quickly found that there is no shortage of things to do or tasks to be undertaken.
I am trying to learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, about our church and our community. I was away long enough, 38 years to be exact, to realize that there have been some changes in both. The learning curve has seemed rather large this summer, and I am learning about social service agencies in our community and opportunities for ministry. I have visited RSVP, delivered Meals on Wheels, distributed food at FISH, and danced with the stalwarts of our community on Monday nights in our fellowship hall. If you are aware of any other opportunities for ministry of which I might not be aware, please let me know. If there are people I need to visit, please let me know.
I am learning and re-learning a lot about our church and a lot about our families. By now, you should have received a letter from me. I would like to spend some time with each of you and/or your family, or small groups of you, in order to let you share your vision for our church, and give you an opportunity to hear mine. I don’t want to be intrusive, so I can visit with you in your home, at the church, over a glass of tea in a fast-food restaurant, wherever you would like to meet. I will be contacting you in the coming days about visiting with you.
In the letter I also mentioned that we will be having a late summer bible study. There will be a survey in the Sunday bulletin through the July 3 worship service, and we will tally the results and come to a conclusion on when to offer the study, which will be four weeks in length. We will have a studies in both the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. Each of these will be approximately 8 weeks in length. The fall study will conclude before the holiday season. As I said, the survey will be in the bulletin through July 3. A copy of the survey is in this newsletter. Feel free to call my cell number or the church office and voice your preference, if you so desire. Don’t hesitate to leave a message if the answering machine picks up.
We are having visitors every Sunday. I know we want to be a warm and welcoming church. We want to “meet people where they are.” If you meet and greet visitors, especially first-time guests, PLEASE be sure I get a chance to meet and converse with them. I hear positive things about our church everywhere I go in town. Please be sure and say a positive word about First Christian Church when you are out and about.
On a personal note, Sarah, Rachel, and I are deeply grateful for all of the courtesies shown to us over what has, in reality, been the past year. We thank you for all of the meals after church and on Saturday nights when we have been here through last summer, fall, and spring. Many of you ask about Sarah—she is remaining in Glen Rose to teach one more year until she can retire, and she is also helping Rachel to get settled into her first job. She will be here once or twice a month, and I will get down there a day or so every month to see her.
It’s been a wonderful June. Let’s look for an even better July. If you travel, please be safe. Have a wonderful day. Have a wonderful month
Grace and peace.