As I have shared in worship with different stories, this is “appointment season” in the United Methodist Churches. These are the days in which a pastor under episcopal appointment may get a call about a new appointment. Congregations may receive the news that they will receive a newly appointed pastor. Of course at UMCC we will be receiving a new pastoral appointment July 1 of this year. These are also the days when pastors make the announcement that they intend to retire at the end of this appointment year, which is June 30 in many Annual Conferences.
I recently sent notes to two clergy colleagues who have announced their retirement this year. In the note I reminded them-from personal experience-that the call of God does not cease when the first pension check arrives! I also empathized with them as they experience the many “last time” events as they conclude their active ministry. One of those last times will be leading in the worship of Holy Week. I thought I had shared my last Holy Week pastoral leadership in 2011, but once again I am looking forward to Holy Week worship in Alaska with you. I hope you find the Holy Week schedule elsewhere on the UMCC website and join in the rich and meaningful worship service being planned for you. If you are reading this following Easter-it was good to worship with you!
In April following Easter I will begin a three Sunday series of messages in worship on the Means of Grace. John Wesley, along with his brother Charles, is the founder of the Methodist movement. The United Methodist Church is the largest denomination of the Methodist movement today. One of the unique contributions of John Wesley to Christianity is his understanding and sharing on the grace of God. He explained God’s grace with three expressions, Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying. If you wonder what those words mean and how they may apply to Christians today, come and find out! I will be sharing on each of these understandings of grace on April 12, 19, and 26.
As always, I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday and each and every Sunday.