People have been asking me the last couple of Sundays, Was today your last Sermon? No, there are a few more left. My last day as your pastor is Sunday, June 16–Father’s Day. I do hope you can join us for the Dinner Party, June 2 as from my perspective, we’ll be celebrating nineteen great years together. It’s been a privilege to serve among you.
There are many transitions occurring these days. As Jeff Fugitt and Jayne Markin are leaving the staff at Schweitzer to begin serving as pastors, we will be celebrating their time with us this Sunday, May 19th. Please take a moment to sign their memory book and enjoy some cake in the Fellowship Center and Outreach Center. We are excited for the people of Dexter and Sadler Chapel churches in southeast Missouri who will be receiving Jayne as their pastor; and for the congregation at Cassville who will be receiving Jeff as their new pastor.
I am happy for Pastor Jim Mason who will begin his three month sabbatical June 1. I recall how my sabbatical summer seven years ago helped to replenish and renew me spiritually. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Pastor Jim who has served faithfully among us since 2005. The pastoral care area is in good hands under the direction of our own Bob Lunn, Jim’s right hand man while he is away. The pastoral staff will also continue to actively serve along with our excellent trained laity.
We announced at Church at the Center on Sunday, May 5th, that it would be our last 5:00 p.m. service. Although many of us were sad that Church at the Center was coming to an end, we are also excited about the new adventure God is taking us on. The people that regularly gathered for our 5:00 p.m. service will now be joining us at the 11:00 service in the Outreach Center. God has us on a journey and we move forward in confidence.
Tonight is Graduation at Schweitzer’s Grow to Know Preschool. Among the graduates is our grandson Oren. Our three-month old granddaughter Elyse has also found her way into the GTK crib nursery. As a pastor and a grandparent, I could not be more appreciative of the excellent staff who are sharing God’s love and sowing daily the Word into the lives of over 100 children. Join me in praying right now that the seeds sown into these young lives will grow into mighty oaks of righteousness to God’s glory (Isaiah 61:3).
As last week, we looked back on Schweitzer’s seventy years, this Sunday we’ll be talking about looking forward to new leadership. As we look forward to handing off the baton of leadership to Spencer Smith, join me in praying for Spencer, his wife Abby, and their daughters Grace, Eve, and Lilly.
I look forward to sharing in worship with you this Sunday!