Friday, May 26, 2017


June is almost here and in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church, lots of change happens in June/July.  I've been on staff at our church since 2004 and I've seen a lot of changes.  Some of those changes made me weep with grief while some of those changes brought a breath of fresh air.  We are going to experience lots of change over the next 30 days.  Our beloved Nathan, the pastor who preaches in our Contact Contemporary service and is over young adults, is moving to another church.  It is a wonderful move for Nathan and his family . . .and we are truly happy for them . . .but oh my goodness, we are going to miss them.  Nathan and I sit across the hall from each other and I value his friendship along with his preaching/teaching capabilities.  I feel like I'm not only losing a pastor but a good friend.  He will be serving a church that is only a few miles down the road but we won't see each other on a daily basis anymore.  Nathan is an excellent preacher and a wonderful story teller and a gifted teacher.  Add onto those wonderful aforementioned qualities his ability to make people laugh and to listen when you need a friend and to offer counsel when needed . . .and you have a wonderful preacher/pastor/friend/co-worker.

Not only will we miss Nathan . . .we will miss his sweet family.  His wife is funny and quick witted and caring.  They have three beautiful children - their newest addition to the family is a little girl from Ethiopia.  They just brought her home after a four year long battle.  We've prayed for that child and bought cakes baked to raise money for the adoption.  Their son and other daughter are cute and bright and we've watched them grow over the last several years.  All of these family attributes add up to equal a wonderful family . . .and to one big grief puddle for us . ..and hopefully, joy (and I'm sure a little grief, too) for them!!

picture from our church newsletter of their sweet family
we love them and are going to miss them

Nathan preaching in Contact worship

At this same time, Suzanne Pruitt, our minister who is in charge of small groups, spiritual growth, and many other things, is retiring after 10 or so years on our staff.  She will be missed, too.  Throw on a few more staff changes -- two folks from staff are quitting due to stay-at-home mom/husband starting a law firm/taking care of an aging mom reasons. We had cake and gifts at staff chapel/meeting on Tuesday and prayed over those who were able to be with us.

We can't look back for long.  Starting in July we have two new ministers coming to join our staff - Christian and Amy.  I know they are going to be wonderful additions to our staff!!  We are all looking forward to being in ministry with the two of them.  They will bring new gifts to our staff and we will learn to love them like we've loved their predecessors.  I'm hoping that they will love us, too!!

If the changes ended there, it would be awesome but that is not the case.  Y'all know how much we love our Tuesday night group, right?  Kelly's last Tuesday night . . .was Tuesday night.  She has loved us and we have loved her.  We wish her well as she moves to another state to be a pastor in the Lutheran church.  She has been such a faithful Tuesday night attender and has MUCH wisdom.  We will miss her so very much.  She has a great laugh and she loves Jesus and that church in Kentucky is going to LOVE having her as one of their ministers!!

Change is in the air!  I don't cry often but if you see me weeping sometime over the next few weeks . . .just know that I am grieving . . .but also rejoicing.  I am grieving because I have loved . . . and I don't plan to stop loving anytime soon!

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