A Time of Transition
This time of year is always a time of transition for those of us in the United Methodist Church. Our appointment calendar turns over at the end of June, and whether we are moving or not, one of our friends or another local church in our area is certainly going through change.
This year is a big one for me! Not only is it a moving year for my family, but it is also a time of transition from one type of ministry to another. For the last 8 years, I have served in some form of full time pastoral ministry, split between college campus ministry and local church ministry. Now, I will be stepping into full time extension ministry outside the walls of the local church–and what is that ministry, you ask? Well, you’re looking at part of it!
Beginning in July, my appointment is to “Defining Grace.” My mission is to encourage, equip, resource, and train pastors and ministries in the areas of worship, creativity, and communication. This website is part of that ministry, but only one part. Even the current form this site has taken is only the beginning. I have other plans that are in the works, and they will be rolled out in time. I also have a solid board of advisors from within the Florida Conference to walk alongside of me, pray for me, and maintain the connection that is so vital to our approach to church.
I want to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has made this leap possible. To my family. To my friends, colleagues, and former pastors. To my former students in campus ministry. To my congregation and community members. To my Bishop and the Florida cabinet. To the thousands of people, web crawlers, and bots that have visited this site since its relaunch at the beginning of the year. To all of you: THANK YOU!
I hope that you will come along on this ride with me. I hope that this ministry will be of value to the church I love so dearly. I hope that in all we do together as a community, we will seek to honor God and make disciples for the transformation of the world.
On a practical note, as I get the other facets of Defining Grace up and running, if there are things on this site that have been of worth and value to you already, I would love for you to let me know. If you have feedback or if there is something you would like to see more of, let me know. If there is something I can do to help you or your church/campus ministry/organization specifically, let me know. You can use the contact form below or send me a note on Twitter.
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I believe everything happens for a reason; the timing of the events in our lives, the people we cross paths with, and the things that we experience are never by accident. Each and every ‘thing,’ no matter how microscopic it/they may seem at the time, plays a part in our journey and our process in this world. Before I began attending services back in February, I had never been to a church service, not even once. From the moment I walked through the doors and heard you speak, all preconceived ideas and apprehension dissipated. The passion with which you spoke was from your heart; I could feel your soul talking in every sermon you gave, and, for me, that made all the difference in the world. It is no mistake that I met you and that I walked through those doors the day I did, and it is no mistake that the messages I got to hear from that first Sunday and those following came at a time when I really need to hear them.
Unfortunately, authenticity and originality are a rarity, but it is a blessing and a true gift to come across those who possess those qualities and can embody them with such grace!! You have that gift, and you are that gift to others!
I am excited for the opportunity to continue following you as you begin this new chapter. THANK YOU for everything!!! You have made more of a difference in me and my journey in these last four months than you know!!
Prayers for you and Kara!