Monday, April 18, 2016
It is the Intention of the Bishop......
It is the intention of the bishop to appoint Rev Bart Fletcher to serve as the pastor of the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Danville, VA.
For the fifth time in my life we have heard sentences beginning this same way and they have signified a major change in our lives.
While I won't go down memory lane too much this morning, we are currently serving our fifth appointment as a married couple -- six very different congregations: a two point charge in very small Minnesota towns, a "Main street" church in a rural county seat town, a college town church in a city of 45,000, a first ring suburb church in a major metropolitan area, and now....much to our shock and surprise... we find ourselves on the border of Virginia and North Carolina in a town that has experienced a great deal of economic depression.
And we couldn't be more thrilled. We love our new congregation! As you know Bart has been serving as the interim pastor in Danville for the past three months. We have grown to really love the church and the people there so we are so excited we get to stay.
Just so you know, people are very surprised at our very happy response, because NOBODY wants to live in Danville. Crime is high, poverty is evident, there are hints of racism, and basically there is no middle class. Industry has left the town and it is a shadow of what it used to be.
But two things remain true: 1) If you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, Danville is the perfect place to be. and 2) The people who still remain in that city are wonderful people very deserving of a great preacher (who, in case you aren't aware, my husband certainly is).
Most importantly, we are where God wants us. It isn't exactly my first preference in regards to worship style. I'm not thrilled about living an hour and a half away from my husband most of the week. The driving back and forth gets tough. But I know that God wants us here and so all that stuff matters very little in the big scheme of things.
I have to tell you a story. When I first found out about this VERY challenging and EXTREMELY rewarding job and was hired, Bart had no idea what was going to happen to him. For two decades I had followed him from place to place remaking myself wherever we went. But this time he wasn't sure where he was going.
I said to him repeatedly, "God is going to take care of you. He has made it very clear that He wants us in Virginia -- he isn't going to take care of me and leave you high and dry. He's a good, good Father..... that's who He is, that's who He is, that's who He is. I sang that lots of times. I annoyed him.
But I love being right more than anything, and I am basking in my "rightness" to trust God. Our parsonage is bigger than any house we have lived in and Bart loves it. The church is perfect for him.... and the people love us. The town is full of opportunities to minister and we are enjoying ourselves so much.
Once again God has led us to a new place.... And even though this blog post may be more poorly written, you get the point......
He's a good, good Father.... and I am loved by Him. And trusting Him to provide the BEST is ALWAYS the way to go.