July 05, 2019

By Susan Sneed
 

It takes a lot of love to follow a call to vocational ministry and build a life around being in service to God’s church. Throughout the retirement service a series love stories videos played with retirees telling their ministry love stories. They shared about the people they have baptized, the children they have learned from and the ministry they have been engaged in. They shared what they have learned that they would pass on to others. Rev. Lynn Dyke, representing Elijah, and Rev. Adam Mustoe, representing Elisha, reenacted the Biblical story of the older generation passing the mantel of responsibility to the younger generation. 
 
Rick Adams: I pray, as a church, we will live into a future characterized by sharing the unconditional love of Christ with all person, no matter how like or different from us they may be. 
 
Jim Barnett: I believe my ministry is sharing Christ no matter what age they are, old and young.
 
Karen Blank-Ewell: From Mary Oliver — I don’t say it’s easy, but what else will do if the love one claims to have for the world be true?
 
Robert (Bob) Casady: The ministry of Jesus is done out of the God’s strength, not ours. Become a “holy fool” for God. 
 
Sara J. Chaney: With a heart and mind for social justice, I look forward to the unfolding of the Church in years to come. The church is like a river, always flowing. 
 
Clif Crockett: And now as I close this chapter, I paraphrase the eminent philosopher Jerry Garcia “What long, wonderful, strange trip it’s been!” 
 
Janice S. Dillard: Love the people before you know them. Love the people as you know them. Love the people after you leave them. 
 
Lynn Dyke: Ministry has been a gift. Sometimes ministry is a marathon and not a sprint. 
Thomas Edward Frank: Missouri has always been home, at first because of family, but later even more so because of mentors and colleagues who were so formative for me as a young pastor. 
 
Mark Charles Harvey: You younger pastors can lead in the birth pangs of the new global-local forms, addressing the world’s most pressing challenges…The gospel remains as radical as ever. 
 
Philip Bruce Jacobs: The calling and opportunity to serve Christ as a pastor in the UMC will always be one of the greatest blessings of my life. 
 
Janet Petty Kohler: Racism, sexism, classicism, ageism calls children and adults “impossible.” As we claim to be the body of Christ, we need to find ways and words to assist others to discover that they each are “possible.”
 
James Lee: from Rev. Tommy Thompson — “My life, for whatever it is, is a mosaic of the impact of a cast of persons and events who have in some way been a part of the production of the truth of me.”
 
Denny Lumos: Thanks to the many pastors and parishioners who have helped shape and guide me. Life can be tough. May you find peace in your journey.
 
Scott A. Moon: We anticipate that all of what has brought us to this point will serve as the preparation required for the work and joy which lies ahead. To God and you we say “Thanks. It has been so sweet.”

Ann B. Mowery: I have been blessed to see God use the efforts of ordinary people to transform lives and build God’s kingdom. 
 
Homer Poor: It seems like only yesterday that I made the decision to commit my life to following Christ’s call into pastoral ministry. In my nine years of pastoral ministry, I have found my greatest joy.
 
Geoff Posegate: Even now at retirement, the future still excites me and drives me more than the past. Missouri United Methodism, your best days are ahead even in this new and uncertain terrain. 
 
Kathleen Schmidtke: I give thanks for the United Methodist appointment system, my husband Scott … and for so many others who courageously accompanied me on this holy journey of faith.
 
Kristy Schmitz: From my youth I was sure God called me to Africa, but for 50 years I avoided answering. Perhaps I was following God’s call all along. 

Larry Schmitz: In my time of service I learned to appreciate the many blessings that we have in excess here in the United States, and I grew a great deal in my appreciation for the challenges and inequities present in other parts of God’s creation. 
 
Gwenell Streeter: I didn’t come into this to be a minister but to be a pastor. Whatever the future brings, I have been greatly blessed by my time in the ministry. 
 
Tom Sullenger: We face our future unafraid. May God Bless His Church! 
 
Gregory M. Weeks: The shape of ministry and the church is evolving. It is evolving in ways designed by the Holy Spirit. Much will change, no doubt. May future colleagues be so richly blessed.
 
Barry Winders: I gave 36 years to the General Baptists and 12 years to the United Methodist. My only regret is my failure to become a United Methodist sooner than I did. 
 
Also retiring this year: Linda Strominger, Melvin Stanley, Cynthia Royce, Brent Mustoe, Scott Hall, Larry Despain, Randy DeMasters, Joe Crosthwait and Richard Blackmon.