Spring-a-ling Sale to be held SATURDAY,
MAY 14th (9AM - ?).
The day will also include a Bake Sale,
Soup & Sandwich Sale, and
Free Coffee All Day!
“He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3a)
The definition of renewal: 1. The act of extending the period of time
when something is effective.
2. The replacing or repair of something that is worn out or rundown.
3. The state of being made new, fresh or strong.
I guess all the above definitions currently relate to me in one way
or another. For the month of April I have been on renewal leave. I’m
thankful that our District Superintendent suggested that I take this
time to care for some things that otherwise could have led to being
overwhelmed and burned out. So, what did I do with this time?
Joan and I recently purchased a home in Williamsport where we
will live in retirement.
During this month we took several days each week traveling back
and forth. There is much work to be done at the house before we
move in June. Plus we packed and carried several pickup loads since
the conference only covers a portion of moving costs when you retire.
We did a little traveling – Lancaster, NYC, and visits with three of
our children and their families. It felt very strange being able to visit
them on weekends! I was able to experience worship with them, to
actually sit in the pews beside them.
During this month I went through photos from all the churches
we have served and all the mission trips we’ve been on. I had time to write
up a brief history of my call to ministry and remembrances from each of
my appointments. Each retiree is asked to share these things with the
conference commission on archives and history.
The most difficult part of the renewal leave was to restrain myself from
responding to the day-to-day ministry needs, although I have been in prayer
for each email request and for the upcoming transition to your new pastoral
leadership. I continue to receive requests, now and then, from people in
previous places where I have served. Some of them are for assistance in
crisis situations; others are for involvement with funerals, baptisms and
weddings. I received such a request at the beginning of my renewal leave.
I cherish each of my appointments and I deeply love the people I have
come to know along the way… but, as a United Methodist pastor I must
abide by the Disciple, which does not allow me to do ministry in a former
parish where I was appointed. I always feel somewhat distressed when
asked because I feel like I’m letting people down when I say, “no.”
Bottom line, getting some things done in preparation for moving; traveling
& visiting with family; reminiscing; and having a month free from the
demands of ministry have been extremely helpful. I feel like I can breathe
again. But, if the bottom line was not resting upon the firm foundation
of God, the restoration would be short lived. He alone is the One who
“restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3a)
May He lead you to the quiet waters today and restore your soul,