A Season of Transition

It is a season of transition. I have had the opportunity to serve as the preacher at Berryton United Methodist Church since July 1, 2018. On Sunday, I announced during worship that I have received a new appointment from Bishop Ruben Saenz to serve as the pastor at Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Topeka beginning July 1, 2019. I will miss the good people of Berryton and am grateful for the care our family has received from both the church and community. I look forward to meeting the people of Susanna Wesley, learning more about the ministries, traditions, hopes, and dreams of the congregation, and continuing to reach the mission field with the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ. I am also looking forward to learning from Rev. Maria Campbell who has served Susanna Wesley faithfully these past seven years!

The Staff Parish team at Berryton UMC has been in conversation with our District Superintendent, Rev. Kay Scarbrough, about who will be appointed to serve as the next pastor. We will share that news when it is available. Will you take a moment to pray for our community, congregations, Bishop, District Superintendents and our family?

If you would like to get or stay connected with me, here are a few ways:

I am committed to making this transition in the best possible way, including saying goodbye, grieving, finding away in the “in-between” space, saying hello, and engaging new beginnings.

Chickens!

Our family has been pondering the possibility of a pet for some months now. Our children are getting old enough to be able to share in the responsibility and have brought up the subject from time to time. We all thought that a dog would be a good possibility, though Nicole and I could never come to an agreement about whether that dog would ever be allowed inside the house or not. Well, to clarify, I was the only one in our household who felt strongly about a dog being an outside animal. Our house doesn’t currently have a fence, so that was a bit of a sticking point as well. In any case, we had considered the possibility of chickens as a bit of a wild idea. As some ideas do, this one came into reality last Saturday.

We had a free Saturday as a family and there were a few items I had on a list to track down for our home. We decided to explore a bit as a family and headed out on a looking trip to Tractor Supply Co. where it was also Chick Days. It did not take us long to find the chicks in the middle of the store. One of the employees asked if we needed some help and we said we were interested in hearing more about chickens. It turns out that she was a big fan of chickens and shared a lot of information about how much her children enjoyed them, how low maintenance they were, and that there was a deal on coops at the other Tractor Supply Co. in town. It was a good enough pitch that we headed to the other store.

There we asked for the coops that were on sale and found ourselves speaking to the manager who took us to the back to show us the ones that he had on sale and even offered us additional money off so that he could clear out some space in the store’s back room. We took a few minutes to discuss amongst ourselves and came to the conclusion – This is it! We have talked about it for a while and this was a great opportunity. The manager helped us with the heat lamp, feed, feeder and watering equipment. We decided on the coop and paid for it all.

At that point, we thought that the equipment wouldn’t do us much good without the animals so we headed back to the other store where they had chicks for sale. We spoke with the same employee again who picked out eight chicks for us, recommended pine shavings for bedding and sent us off with some encouraging words.

We unloaded all the things, took a break for lunch, and then set about making a secure space for them in our garage. Some spare sheets of wood that were left in the home ended up working great to put an enclosure together. It was a family project from beginning to end (recognizing we aren’t at the end yet…). We have all enjoyed watching, taking care of them, and resisting picking them up so they don’t get too stressed out while they are still young. There are many next steps from here, but for today…

We have chickens!

Two Berryton Buffaloes

On Monday, we enrolled our children in First and Second Grade at Berryton Elementary School. While we have driven by the building, this was our very first time inside. We filled out all the papers, received a quick tour of the building and found their classrooms. It was another milestone in our season of transition and putting down roots in the community.

I am looking forward to being close to their school. The property of Berryton United Methodist Church and Berryton Elementary are adjoining and the building and playground are clearly visible from my office window. Also, the congregation has developed a partnership of support and care over the years. I am looking forward to the year ahead!

The Biggest Bulldozer in the World (or I Can Do All Things)

At a recent bedtime, I read Bulldozers (Mighty Machines) to our children as one of our stories. After reading, my son stood up and said excitedly,

“One day, I going to drive the biggest bulldozer in the world!”

I replied with a smile, “You sure could.”

In those brief moments, I was struck at how wide the possibilities are for him at three years old. He really could drive the biggest bulldozer in the world one day. Then I considered this possibility for myself. Would I ever drive the biggest bulldozer in the world? It seems a bit little less likely that I would ever would. The reality is that the choices that we make open some possibilities in the future and close others.

Part of the amazing power of the gospel is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even, one day, drive the biggest bulldozer in the world.

Blessings of Ministry – Babies (1 of 3)

There are many blessings of ministry as a pastor. One of those is to be with families with new babies. In the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to be with two families who welcomed a new member to their family, as well as pray before surgery for an infant. Each one of these are doing great.

What blessings do you find in ministry?