Dear Friends in Christ,
By now, I expect that most of you have heard this news that is so difficult to tell you. After much discernment and prayer, Adrian and I have made the decision to move this summer to England to be closer to our English family, especially to my aging parents with my mother’s declining health. With Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño’s permission, I contacted the British Methodist Church, and they have matched me with an appointment to three churches in Ipswich, which is 80 miles North East of London, and about two hours by car from my parents’ home. We expect to be there for three years.
I will continue to serve as your pastor until June 30th, and then you will receive a new pastor appointed by the Bishop to start on July 1st. In the February Prism on page 4 is the formal letter of announcement from our District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Blake Busick.
I know that this will come as a shock to you all. I love you all dearly and this has been a very difficult decision for us to make, but one that we think is right for us at this time in our lives. I did not seek this move because of anything that has happened at Sierra Pines UMC; we have had so many wonderful God-moments and there is some great ministry happening within our community as we have grown together as disciples of Christ. It has been a true blessing to be your pastor and journey with you all.
For the past few weeks in our worship services, we have been talking about fear and how to fear less. Worry can be defined as imagining a negative future that may never happen. I ask you to trust that God will be with us all throughout this whole process and trust that God can bring good from all circumstances. As Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34). So, face your fears with faith, examine your assumptions in the light of the facts, attack your anxieties with action, and then release your cares to God. And as you do so, may you discover the peace of God that passes all understanding.
In worship on January 6, I gave each of you a Star Word to ponder through 2019 as to what significance this word might have in your life, and how God might be speaking to you through that simple message. I have heard from many of you how appropriate your word is to your life. If you did not get a Star Word, then drop by the office to pick one up.