This is the last “Wednesday Post” I will write as the Pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ. I will continue to write it, but it won’t be available on the Asbury UMC Facebook page anymore.
A few people have mentioned that I will be starting a new chapter in my life. That is true. I will soon reside in the township of Harmony, NJ, where Lori Jo (my wife) and I will sincerely attempt to live in harmony!! Different location, different church to pastor, and even a different Annual Conference to deal with. Definitely looking like a new chapter, if not a new book!
But somethings still persist. I have colleagues who are anxious to retire. One friend could tell me exactly how many more Communion services she would conduct until she retires, and she won’t retire for another year.
I guess my last Communion prior to retiring was last Sunday. Before the CORONA-19 virus, we also celebrated Communion during Dinner Church, the second Wednesday of each month. I really never thought about how many Communion services I would be involved with. Maybe because I will continue to serve Communion with my next church. I almost said my “new” church, but it isn’t really new, except to me.
My message this Sunday, and the first Sunday in July as well, will focus on call. My call, but also your call. You see, I believe God calls each one of us to a ministry of some kind. Pastors, especially those who are ordained, commit their lives to serving God by leading a local church. That is the call God has put on my life, and that is why I will continue to serve God as God has called me to do.
I have mentioned to a few people that I believe I retired at the end of June, 2008. That is when I quit my position at Rowan University and began my first year as a full-time pastor. I do believe I stopped working then. I can joke that I haven’t done a lick of work in the past 12 years. Instead, what I have done is ministry. And ministry, to me, isn’t work. So, the circumstances have changed, but the call, and my commitment to it, have not.
I have been truly blessed to be the pastor of the Asbury UMC in EHT, and I pray that I will be equally blessed as the pastor of the Richmond UMC in Bangor, PA. I also believe that my presence has, at least in some way, been a blessing to some of the folks at Asbury. I pray that is true.
Thank you, Asbury UMC, for you love, your laughter, your caring and your spirit. God is with you, and I know you will continue to do great things!
I will be writing the Wednesday Post after I leave as the Pastor of the Asbury United Methodist Church in EHT. After July, I will no longer post these on the Asbury UMC Facebook Page, but will post them on my blog: https://thewednesdaypost939095248.wordpress.com/