Kathy and I are very pleased to find ourselves in Ocilla and Irwinville for (at least) another 12 months. You are wonderful congregations to serve with and you certainly bless us every day!
When I responded to the call to ministry in the United Methodist Church I knew about the itineracy, that is the appointment system, which keeps clergy supplied with churches and churches with Pastors. I can’t say I understood it. I have seen the process work quite well and I have seen churches nearly destroyed with a wrong appointment and/or a poor response to an appointment.
Being part of the United Methodist system requires faith. Not in Bishops or District Superintendents (though we must offer them our respect), but in the One who created all things, Who sent His son to save the world, and Who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, resides with His people today. God’s promise to be with us persists. God yearns for our success in His mission. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)
The next question, in this our 5th year together, regards “purpose,” God’s purpose for us. I’ve never presumed to have a vision for this, or any other charge, but I believe God does. He gave all of us the mission to love Him, love each other and make disciples. Our job is to discern what this mission looks like in Ocilla and Irwinville. Surrounding us are plenty of potential disciples and we have the resources of the Holy Spirit within us. And, we have people with great attitudes who are rich with God’s gifts.
The only thing left is listening. Listening to God. Listening, then sharing what we hear with each other, and together reaching an awareness of how God is guiding us on His mission. If we choose God alone, we can know the will of God for the church and God will empower us to carry it through.
What do we want? That might be the hardest question we will ever ask. Kathy and I love being here. We can easily say this is God’s will for us and this is all we want!