Good things have been happening as we've been preparing to transition out of Dawson. There have been lots of tears, as people have expressed their feelings and how much they'll miss us. Today, one of my lay leaders let me know how much my ministry has meant to her and how good it's been for the church. Also today, Roy Hess, lead guitarist of the High Ryder Band and an all around good egg, played a very touching guitar medley in worship, in honor of my wife and I. The medley included beautiful renditions of "Let It Be", "Lady Madonna", "I Feel Fine", "Yesterday", and "God Be with You 'til We Meet Again". Lovely guitar work from a cherished brother in Christ; I found it difficult to continue the service after Roy played.
I'm very pleased that the charge has set a date for a farewell dinner for our family, and did it in conjunction with our local Ministerium. I started the Ministerium here in my first year of ministry. We had several congregations in the Tri-Town area which really didn't know each other very well. Now, we have monthly services together (weekly during Lent), a joint Youth ministry, and a joint Food Bank serving over 100 clients. Additionally, the pastors help one another with pastoral work and we've gotten to be a pretty tight group; I'll miss these good Christian servants a great deal.
Upon hearing that we were moving to Jefferson UM Church, the folks in the other churches asked to be a part of our farewell, so our farewell dinner will include Baptists, Nazarenes, Presbyterians, folks from the Church of Christ, and, of course, United Methodists (the Presbys said that they were predestined to bring the ham!). Also, several of our Food Bank clients, with whom I have worked extensively, have expressed a desire to be a part of our farewell. I consider it a personal triumph of sorts that the entire community is together on this - glory to God! - as I believe wholeheartedly in our Bishop's claim that we are appointed to serve communities, not simply to congregations. God is good!
Tomorrow, we will be taking our children (and three friends) to Kennywood for their school picnic. It may be cold and rainy all day long, but the kids were really looking forward to the trip. We will be praying for good weather!
Tuesday, I'm off to Jefferson Hills to meet with the pastor and some of the leadership at Jefferson UM Church...more transitional stuff. Saturday - my final wedding in Dawson. A busy week! But, again...God is good! What a privilege to serve my Lord!
It may be a few days until I get to post again. So, I leave you with a video starring my favorite theologian, the one and only John Wesley...