Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2017 Adventures (Pastor's Page from "The Quincy Quill")

This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on;
Time to believe what love is bringing, laying to rest the pain that’s gone.

Christ is alive, and goes before us, to show and share what love can do
This is a day of new beginnings, our God is making all things new.
(This is a Day of New Beginnings, The United Methodist Hymnal, pg. 383)

As I sit down to write this month’s Adventures, I am preparing to head to Burlingame for the 169th session of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.  At the same time, I also find myself reflecting on this past year as your pastor.  While my appointment to Quincy will be fixed by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño during the Annual Conference Session, I am excited to be continuing with my appointment here in Quincy.  I can’t say enough how thankful I am to be here in Quincy and am looking forward to this next year and the many possibilities, as it’s a day of new beginnings.  Oftentimes, the first year of ministry is more a time to observe, get to know each other, and to get to know the community.  It’s a year of wonder, a year of discovery, a year of learning (which really never ends…even after seminary), and finding my leadership style.  However, as I begin my second year with you, not only does the hymn “This is a Day of New Beginnings” come to mind, but so does the title a song by The Carpenters, “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

However, in some ways, I feel like we’re really just beginning here in my second year with you.  Although there have certainly been a number of ups and downs this last year, and certainly lessons that I have had to learn the hard way.  Yet amidst some of the challenges that come with life and ministry, Christ is present, alive, and before us as we begin this new appointment year together.  God is always making things new for us and I pray we continue trusting in God and the work of the Holy Spirit as we function as the hands and feet of Christ in our church, community, and world, especially as we show and share what love can do.  We have made it through a contentious election cycle, we have said goodbye to some of our loved ones both in the church and in our extended church family, and made it through a long winter.  And even amidst the more difficult times in the last year, we have also had a lot to celebrate too.  We celebrated a baptism and new members in November, we have a thriving music ministry with our choir and bell choir, we have a small core group of children who are now attending regularly, and we have another baptism and new members joining us very soon!!

As I look back on this past year, it has been a time of great learning, and even some un-learning.  There are things I have done well, although there are certainly things I can do better as a pastor.  There are things I have succeeded in and some places I have failed.  But we are also here to learn from each other and it’s amazing what we can all learn from one another.  I also hope we all can commit to our spiritual growth and discipleship in this coming year, particularly studying scripture regularly, praying daily, worshiping regularly, and checking in with each other regularly asking “how is your spiritual life?” But what are also some ministry ideas you are most excited about that you would like to talk about?  As we begin this new year together, let’s start visioning of where we can go and what ministries God is calling each of us into!!  Or another way of putting it, what flames of the Holy Spirit are burning that we can throw some kerosene on? 

Peace & Blessings,

Pastor Andrew  

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