Yesterday at Annual Conference, the appointments for the next year were set. For the first time in 22 years, I was not reappointed to be the pastor at Wedgewood UMC. Rev Joe Burkhardt is the new pastor and will take over at the church on July 1. The baton was passed, so to speak.
I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate metaphor for what this is like and the only thing I can come up with is fostering a child. You are given a child that someone else gave birth to, and you pour your heart and soul into that child. You raise that child in the very best way you can for as long as you are able. You and the child don’t always agree on the direction to go, but you grow together, learn together, and grow in love each day.
And then, one day, it is time to hand the child off to someone else. The child is not grown – there is still so much to do- but it is time to let someone else take over the raising of this wonderful, precious child.
Rev. Joe Burkhardt is a good guy. He loves Jesus and is an experienced pastor. He is a lot more tactful than me and (unlike me) seems to know the right words to say in most situations. It is time to give the church to his leadership and care. I know this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. I have other ministries to explore and new places to go. Tom and I have wonderful, exciting adventures ahead of us.
And change is good