Several months ago, we made the decision to be homeowners, as Berryton UMC does not currently own a parsonage. The real estate search has been a bit of a challenge, as there was not an overly abundant selection of homes available in the Shawnee Heights School District. We did find a home that I believe will be great for our family and closed on Thursday.
On Wednesday evening we packed up our van with a variety of items that we wanted to move ourselves – picture frames, breakable items, and a welcome stone. I was about to close the trunk when I paused to look at this view. It struck me that we were literally packing up a sign of welcome from one home that will be going to another. But that’s all that it is – a sign of welcome.
God’s welcome has preceded our family’s transition to Topeka.
God’s welcome continues to be present in El Dorado.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have had and will continue to have to share God’s welcome with all people – no matter who they are or where they live.
On March 21, it was announced to the Resurrection congregation that Judy Long O’Neal will be appointed to Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church in Topeka beginning July 1.
I have learned a lot from Judy and her ministry at Resurrection. She is passionate about care for each person, the environment and dialogue among persons of different faiths. Through her example, she has helped me to be able to more often ask the discerning question, “What is mine to do?”
Judy has also helped me to better understand this portion of Jesus’ teaching:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31, TNIV
Judy has taught me that you cannot love your neighbor without first loving yourself. One is called to have a healthy self-understanding before being sent out to be in relationship with others.
Judy, thanks for all that you have done and all that you are going to do.