They have said that the only one who likes change is a wet baby, but I disagree. While change may be difficult, and, at times very painful, we United Methodist clergy thrive on change. I know… I know… you think I have lost it, but just keep on reading.
In our preaching we call for change. We speak the very words of scripture, Sunday after Sunday. We lift up the truth of Ecclesiastes 3:1, "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." Paul writes to the church in Rome: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." We, who follow Jesus Christ, are called to live a life of constant change and growth. We are moving on to perfection, aren't we? So change is a part of faith.
Change is a part of our DNA as United Methodist clergy. We go where sent, and we realize that in time we will be sent to a new place of ministry.
Change is coming to the Atlanta Emory District and to me personally. It was my dream and desire to serve as a DS. It has been my blessing to serve as DS of the Atlanta Emory District. I never thought I would be so blessed to serve such a fantastic district; not only was I called to be a DS, I was given the best district in North Georgia. It has been a great six years. You have been so supportive and encouraging. Together, I believe, we have made great strides for the Kingdom. I won't bore you with statistics just yet, but I'm so proud of the work we have done together for Jesus Christ.
I have been asked repeatedly if I am excited about the new appointment announced for me. Yes, I enjoy change, and it feeds my soul. I am scared at the same time. I don't want to let God or Bishop Sue down nor do I want to let you down. I am representing all the clergy of the Atlanta Emory District. I will take with me the vast training and understanding of ministry on both sides of the field. I want to bring even greater strength to OMS and to find the best, the brightest, and the most faithful to serve alongside you in ministry.
I am also excited that I have 6 more months to be with you. I will do my best to get to each church, to each Extension minister, and our retirees to express my joy over your ministry. I will prepare for a gracious and smooth transition for my successor (you have to wait till January 22 to hear who that is), and I will work hard with my colleagues on the cabinet to make the best moves possible for the future of AMRY.
Change comes in many ways, shapes, and forms. It is the call of Christ. I pray you will continue to help me to answer the call with integrity and joy.
Peace and Joy,
Technology and Digital Ministry