Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Taking the Light to New Places

While it has been nearly a month since I last posted a blog just before Easter, it has been a very busy April and not exactly sure where the time has gone.  It's definitely a season of transition.  As we the writer of Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 says,

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace (NRSV). 
There is a time for everything and that also comes with a time of moving on and a time of new beginnings.  I reflect upon our chapel service at Wesley in Oxnam Chapel from April 5 when Rev. Dr. Youtha Hardmann-Cromwell preached a moving sermon about moving on, but also how moving on is bittersweet.  While this sense of accomplishment of completing my master's divinity (M.Div.) is exciting, it is also sad in the same breath.  It's a time of saying see-ya-later (not goodbye) to people who have become like family, people who we've been in community with, and have worked with, along with some of our beloved professors.  But, time goes forward and moving on becomes a necessity.

However, there is new light to share and new places for the light to be taken into.  And in The United Methodist Church, becoming a part of the itinerancy is the next step and being sent from Wesley into formal ministry.  One morning not too long ago, I received a phone call from my district superintendent who was overseeing my candidacy telling me I had an appointment, but not in his district.  Talk about being on pins and needles, but that afternoon, the District Superintendent of the Great Northern District of the California-Nevada Conference asking me if I would consider serving our church in Quincy, CA.  While the protocol is to pray and discern for 24 hours, I did not need that.  My initial reaction was WOW, as Quincy was one of the places I had in the back of my mind.  But then it set in and responded the next day with a resounding yes.  After a couple meetings on Skype and after it was announced in church this last Sunday, I am beyond excited to know that effective July 1, Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. is appointing me to Community UMC of Quincy.

While I am going to miss the deep friendships at Wesley and with my church family at Hope Presbyterian Church, I am excited about a new way of life, of living in the mountains of Plumas County, or as my dad calls, "God's Country." It is a beautiful place and a whole new way of life from what has been in Washington, DC.  It's a great place of new beginnings.  The church is a small church, but from what I have learned, is big in heart and tight-knit.  It also has a strong music ministry, which I look forward to.  But I also look forward to getting to know the community, the business owners, the schools, while building relationships between the church and community.  Of course, new challenges await, but that's where the light needs to be in the world, even in the midst of challenges that come along.  But in the meantime, it's time to savor what's left of my time in Washington, DC and the East Coast while looking forward to July 1 and my new life in Quincy!!

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