When I was in seminary in the seventies each student was asked to pick their "Life Verse” from the Bible.
This was mine:
Psalm 122:1: I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the LORD
During the months I have served as Interim Pastor at St. Paul's, I have remembered this verse. Serving and worshiping with you has brought me great joy. I have tried to participate in everything you were doing: Traditional and Flame Worship, small group study, Celebrate Recovery, Staff/Parish Committee, Trustees, Boy Scouts, Church Council, Family Dinner, monthly food box distribution, monthly Eat, Pray Love and some I may have forgotten.
I have been amazed as you worked with the restrictions of Covid 19 to keep ministry going.
As the Covid restrictions were lifted more people took part in the existing ministries and in new ministries.
It was a joy welcoming Mary Ward to the staff as the pastor of Fresh Expressions Ministry.
All of your staff bring wonderful gifts and graces to St. Paul's life and ministries. Volunteers have stepped up to enable ministry to happen as they gave themselves tirelessly to one or more ministry opportunities.
Thank you for putting up with me in your midst as we served God together through the Body of Christ, we call St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
Now a word about the future.
On July 1, 2022, you will welcome Vernon and Victoria as your new Pastor and wife.
I met Vernon when I came to Central Methodist in 1979.
Vernon and Victoria were a part of a young adult Bible study that met at our home.
Vernon and I worked together on the staff of Central.
I was honored to officiate at their wedding and watch them grow and raise a family.
They will bless you in untold ways.
Remember that Vernon will be your new pastor and I will not be available for ministerial duties.
Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica these words and they are my closing words to you.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3: We always thank God for all of you when we mention you constantly in our prayers. This is because we remember your work that comes from faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.
May God Bless St. Paul's in the years to come. May you be known for your joy in being in ministry in the community and the world. You a great future ahead!
Rey, Jim Hawk,
Interim minister December 1 through June 30