As you may know, I will be out of the office from January 7th- March 1st on medical leave. During my absence the church is well-covered. Director of Family Ministries, Josh Rath, will serve in the day to day pastoral functions. In addition, Sue Meade, a retired UM pastor, is available. Stephen Ministers are available to listen and serve. Bev Byram-Howe, the church office administrator, is able to handle daily operations. Because we are part of a connectional system as United Methodists, the Iowa City area pastors are open to assisting in whatever ways as needed. Rev. Dr. Jill Sanders will serve as celebrant for communion on February 3.
On Sunday mornings, you will see a variety of familiar faces filling new roles in preaching and leading. I am excited to hear what each one has to teach us. I will take advantage of the DVD recordings of the services coming out of our Audio/Visual team! This is not a time to miss. God’s Spirit is moving power-fully among the leadership and the body in the church. This will become more and more evident as the year progresses.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Sister Pat Farrell in her address, Navigating the Shifts:
Nor is there reason to be fearful of the cataclysmic movements of change swirling around us. We only need to recognize the movement, step into the flow, and be carried by it. Indeed, all creation is groaning in one great act of giving birth. The Spirit of God still hovers over the chaos.
In seasons of great change or when I feel afraid, I have found it challenging, as well as comforting to step into the waters of change. There is movement within this church body. The Spirit of God is urging us to follow God in radical ways. In my own life, at times it feels that the waters might overtake me. Each time I come back to God who “still hovers over the chaos.” Changes are coming. Take heart. This is the best place to be.
I covet your prayers for my two surgeries. The first one is on January 8th, which is a change from my original date. The longer surgery is on January 24th. I would love cards and notes; however at the hospital I am limit-ing my visitors to only family. Thank you for understanding. I will pray for you during my absence.