May 10, 2017

We are in the season of moving time for United Methodist clergy. Many of our clergy are in the process of receiving the news of a new appointment and churches are receiving the news of a new pastor. 

All of this is a great deal of transition. It’s not unfair to say we have grief over losing the pastor we have, while at the same time joy over gaining a new pastor. Both of those feelings are OK to have at the same time. 
    
This year in the Missouri Conference we are trying to provide more transition materials, Passing the Baton, to provide a better, smoother transition between the pastor moving out and the pastor moving in, so that churches might be more helpful in the process of transition. We’re hoping that transitions will go better, that we will have quicker starts and more fruitful ministries in churches receiving new pastors. These resources are available on our website, www.moumethodist.org/passingthebaton, where you can get more details about how to use these resources. 
    
I’m praying for each pastor, and praying for each church. I pray that the Holy Spirit be with each pastor’s family and with all the families in all our congregations as we make transitions.
 
Even my wife Susan and I are in the process of this transition. We are selling our house and moving to Columbia. I’ve had to move five times in my 40 years of ministry. I get how hard this is, and at the same time how exciting it can be. 
    
Just know that you are in my prayers, and the prayers of the cabinet are with each of our churches and pastors as we make this transition. Let’s have a great spring, and have a great time of move as we go towards Annual Conference.