Lectionary Reading: 1 John 4:7-21
My last Sunday to preach in Edmond as your Senior Pastor will be June 20th. This will likely come faster than I would like but I wanted you to have the date. As I move into the supervision of pastors within the district, I recognize that our church has prepared me for this ministry. I've enjoyed working with a variety of professionals within our congregation including other clergy in both active and retired status. Your leadership has challenged me to hone my own skills as a pastor and a leader. As we look at this week's scripture, I can easily see how I am being led in love. I'm trying to expand my own offering of the love of God by leading pastors and congregations within our area.
Furthermore, it seems that our church has become a cradle of leadership - nurturing the call of those seeking to serve as ministers in the world. For lay leadership, we have recently seen two of our former UCO Wesley Foundation interns take full-time positions in ministry within our conference office.
Roxie Hacker is the new Director of Project Transformation for the Oklahoma Conference which is a ministry that connects churches with schools to enhance the learning opportunities of children in their communities. I've known Roxie for a long time and was able to confirm her in the faith back in Piedmont in 2009.
We also have laity from our church moving into clergy status which is also transformative!
We will get to see them both commissioned on Friday, October 8th at 7:00 pm at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. No congregation will be prouder than ours at this service!
And while we get to enjoy Tim's gifts as he serves this church, we can also take heart in knowing that we have prepared others to serve the wider world.
My hope is that this congregation will continue to offer up leadership in this manner. It means that we are in touch with the call of God upon our lives. It means that we have talent that should be shared with our neighbors! Which of our recent confirmands will feel the call of God upon their lives to lead the church into the future?
This Sunday, I'll continue to preach on the series, "Abiding in the Resurrection" and we'll look at how this scripture seems to equate or blend the loving of God with the loving of our neighbor. It seems that Christians can't do one without doing the other.
I hope you'll join us - we'll meet in the sanctuary at 8:30 and 11 am or outside at 9:45 am. We'll also resume the live-streaming of our service this Sunday at 8:30 and 11 am.