St. Charles and Dover United Methodist Church
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Pastor's Reflection




Together, we have been in ministry since 2009. I have had the honor to be with you in sacred times in your lives and in these two churches. Over the years we have celebrated the lives of many of the beloved as they have gone on ahead of us to be with Jesus. We have celebrated baptisms and the decisions of confirmation. We have planned together, cried together, laughed together, hoped together, weathered storms of life and ministry together, shared disappointments and successes together. It has been my privilege to love and be loved by you all of these years.

That is how I began the letter you all received that started a new chapter in all of our lives. Now begins the process of our preparing to finish well and for you prepare to welcome someone new as a spiritual leader for these two communities of the Beloved. Pastor Parish Committee will review the church profiles and consult with our District Superintendent who will then take the results of those conversations to the Cabinet

It is a time for a variety of emotions. We can encounter the whole spectrum in times of change. Yet, in many ways, what is anticipated is a new beginning, a new chapter in the lives of these congregations and in Gary’s and my life.

God is always a God of possibility and surprise. Since this process began, over and over, there has been a clear sense of the hand of God guiding our decisions. What I believe deeply is that also means God has a plan for you that will bless these two communities of faith.

Each summer brings a number of transitions in the UMC. Clergy are appointed to new congregations and, likewise, congregations receive new pastors. Moving brings forth many goodbyes for the pastors themselves, their families, and the churches they’ve served. But it also creates opportunities for each to start again. Isaiah 43:19 (CEB) speaks words to all those in transition: “Look! I’m doing a new thing; now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?”

We will grieve and at times be uncertain moving forward. What we need to know is that God has a plan full of abundance and possibility. That is our confidence moving forward.

And, we will be in prayer for one another, for the Cabinet in their discernment, and the yet unknown new pastor whom God is already preparing.

                                                                         In Love,                                        

                                                                                       Pastor Heather