THE PHONE RANG
"Would you like to go to Bethel International?"
About four months ago the phone rang. It was our district superintendent, Linda Middelberg. “Uh-oh,” I thought.
“Would you like to go to Bethel International?” she asked.
“Well, YEAH!” I replied. (Actually, I talked to my wife and prayed about it overnight before I said that.)
And here we all are, ready to begin ministry together. In the meantime, there have been many tearful farewells. There have been exciting conversations with Pastor Mike, a lovely breakfast with Pastor Miran, meetings with your Leadership Board, and encounters with several church members. Boxes have been packed . . . and moved . . . and unpacked (well, some have been unpacked). Parsonage walls have been painted, plumbing repaired and carpets cleaned. And most of all, lots and lots of prayers have been said: by me for you, by you for me, and by all of us for the growth and unity of our church. Please keep praying!
You’ll get to know me, in time. But here are a few tidbits as we begin:
- My pastoral mission statement is to foster diverse community centered in Christ. That fits a congregation with “International” in its name!
- Carolyn and I have been married for almost 29 years. Our daughter, Emily, graduated from college a year ago and works for a domestic violence shelter in Lawrence, Kansas. Our daughter, Rachel, will be a sophomore at Cincinnati in Classical Civilization.
- I am an introvert. I get to know people deeply and well, just not quickly.
- I have been serving churches in West Ohio Conference for 28 years, and here in Columbus for 24 years. Most have seen growth in numbers and vitality. I feel blessed to have been part of each one.
- I grew up in Kansas. I cheer for the Buckeyes, but it’s Jayhawk blood in my veins.
I could go on, but then we wouldn’t have anything left to talk about! See you July 1!