An outsider in Alaska – Pastor’s Notes

I am from the “outside” and will not be in Alaska long enough to qualify for a PFD. Nonetheless, after a month I am feeling most comfortable and “at home” in Chugiak. I thank everyone for their efforts and ongoing help in this process. It is my privilege and honor to be appointed as your pastor for these interim months until June 30, 2015. That seems like a long time off but I know the days and months will fly by.

In my short time at UMCC I have heard, seen, and experienced such wonderful expressions of ministry and mission. I believe that some of my pastoral ministry here will be to not “get in the way!” I pray that together we may continue the wonderful mission and ministry and to grow together as we follow Jesus Christ.

Just a few weeks ago I was quietly enjoying retirement in Woodland, CA. Many of my projects were near completion but I am always finding tasks and projects-I don’t suffer from the “I’m bored” syndrome. Then out of the blue came the phone call to consider going to Chugiak as an interim pastor. Chugi-what? Actually the decision came quickly to Debbi and me. I felt God calling me to offer my gifts in this way at this time in a place I had never visited let alone heard of! Yet in a few weeks I easily call Chugiak and the parsonage my home. And I feel at home with you at UMCC. I thank God and you for that.

Obviously I will not be working with UMCC on long-range planning and goals for the nest five or more years. I am appointed as a pastor for an interim period. But I will be in ministry with you as together we share and explore and discern God’s call and leading in these days. God has brought us together for mission and ministry and to grow together as disciples. What a joy and privilege! And I say that whether the mountain is out or not – and even when the snow flies – I have been told that it will!

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday and each and every Sunday.

Gary