From the Pastor's Desk - May 2018
May 1, 2018 - Pastor Tom Kraft
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil - this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” -Ecclesiastes 3
Over our lives we face many changes. People retire or lose their jobs and feel dislocated. We move into a new home and feel disoriented. Someone we love, close to us, passes to glory and we feel an emptiness. Our child leaves for college or our parents for Florida and we feel loneliness. While change often leads to blessing, at first, we often feel apprehension and confusion. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about all the changes that occur in our lives and ends with an expectation that we will remember God has our lives in His hands. I often spend time with people going through transitions and changes. I learned a long time ago not to try and hurry the process of accepting change, but to embrace the feelings we have and honor our past. And only then can we take the first steps of moving into the future where we trust that God has blessings waiting.
A couple weeks ago we announced that Pastor Jean Edmister had accepted a new appointment to be the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church. Pastor Jean has served as a pastor to our church for as long as any other pastor except myself. She was the first employee I hired in our church. Her warm, dedicated, responsible presence will certainly be missed by so many of us. While we wish her well in the new adventure she has decided to pursue, we also need to thank her for her many years of ministry with us. On Saturday, June 23 in Pendleton and Sunday, June 24 in Niagara Falls we will have a farewell celebration to share our gratitude as a church for her ministry.
Change brings concerns, apprehensions, possibilities and questions. Many people have already asked, “So what are we doing now?” or “Are we getting a new pastor?” At this point we are in a period of discernment. Our Staff Parish Relations Team led by Dana Thompson and I will be exploring what are the possibilities for the future. In the meantime, we still have myself, and Pastors Bill, Bob, Lisa, Mike, and Sherry to provide for our church. When we feel we have discerned where God is leading us, we will clarify any changes for the future.
Change is never easy. We want everything to stay the same. But it never does. Changes bring losses, and change brings blessings. Pastor Jean will begin her new ministry July 1, and we will miss her. As we have missed the many other pastors that served our church. Pray for her and pray for our church as we all head into a new adventure seeking the blessing of God.