Looking Back … Looking Forward

On Sunday, my two congregations officially entered a time of pastoral transition. During worship, I made the announcement that I would be leaving on June 16 and would be appointed to Trinity UMC in Covington, Ky.

This will be my first pastoral transition where I am the person leaving. It is an unique situation to be in and unlike any other that I have experienced before. As a journalist, I never gave much thought into what it meant to leave. I announced my resignation and then two or three weeks later I was somewhere else.

A pastoral transition is quite different. There is a dual nature to the transition that is ever present. I am still the pastor of Mackville UMC and Antioch UMC, yet I am the incoming pastor of another church. I am still making ministerial plans for my two churches, yet I am praying for what is to come at Trinity. I am still in relationship with my community here, yet I am starting to learn about the community there.

So far, the transition has brought out my reflective nature. I have spent some time thinking back on the past two years, while looking ahead to what is to come.

Looking back, when I came to Mackville and Antioch I was overwhelmed. I had graduated seminary just a few weeks prior. Nothing in my education prepared me for what to expect. I was barely swimming above water the first few weeks.

In time, I learned how to be a pastor and how to pastor my congregations. The last two years, here, have been an amazing experience. I have grown a lot and have become more confident in myself and calling. More importantly, I believe my people have grown and not just numerically, but spiritually. That means more to me than words can expressed.

When I think ahead to the next journey, I can’t help but ask some of the same initial questions that I asked two years ago in moving to Mackville. Who will be there? Who will we serve? Who will be transformed and embrace a deeper relationship with Christ? Those questions will be in answered in time. The one guarantee that is in place is that the ministry I embrace at Trinity will come as a fruit of what Christ has done in me and through me in my time at Mackville and Antioch.

For that I will be forever grateful of my time here, especially as I look forward to what is to come.

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