Announcing New Appointment – Canyon Lake UMC
On Thursday, I was introduced as the next pastor in charge at Canyon Lake United Methodist Church, effective July 1.
Approximately four years ago, I had a similar introduction at First UMC, Austin. The stated purpose was the need for an experienced elder to serve as an executive pastor to help bridge an anticipated transition in the senior pastorate. I accepted this appointment with joy, anticipating that it would last about four years. Now, this season has run its course.
Every appointment change is bittersweet—one both grieves leaving and anticipates the potential of a new ministry setting. I am so proud of and thankful for our season of ministry together. God has blessed me richly by bringing you at FUMC Austin into my life and by the growth I have experienced with you. I am especially thankful for the gift of my renewal leave and your encouraging support along the Camino de Santiago.
It has been an honor:
- to stand with you, arms linked with arms, loving and supporting our friends during Muslim Capitol Day;
- to walk with you in the PRIDE Parade, reminding everyone of God’s affirming love for them;
- to feed our neighbors experiencing homelessness with you and worship with them;
- to study Scripture and theology and social justice and challenge our privilege with you;
- to learn how to pay down debt, to save, and to live like no one else with you;
- to march with you in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Farmworker’s March to the Capitol;
- to set alight with you the note as we celebrated that the Family Life Center was paid in full;
- to organize with you and challenge our denomination’s harmful injustice toward LGBTQIA persons; and
- to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and remember our Baptism with you at God’s table and font where all are welcome, loved, and affirmed.
Of course, this is an announcement, not a goodbye. We have about three more months together for us to connect and give thanks. Let’s continue building a community where all people are invited to know God’s love and sent to join God in transforming the world.
I ask for your prayers in this time of transition as well as your prayers for Canyon Lake UMC. I am praying for you.
In gratitude and love,
Dear First Church,
I know that you share my mixed feelings upon learning the news of Pastor Michael’s new appointment to Canyon Lake UMC—I am joyful and excited for this new opportunity in his ministry, and I am also sad to say goodbye to a faithful partner in ministry here at FUMC. I hope that you will join me in giving Pastor Michael a proper farewell when the time comes; in the meantime, I look forward to these last months in ministry with him—remember, he’s not gone yet!
We have always known that Pastor Michael’s time with us would come to an end, and with that end come new opportunities and new callings for us as a church. Our SPRC has met and we are excited to begin considering what those opportunities and callings might be. With Michael’s departure, we have a strategic opportunity to utilize new lay staff to fill the administrative needs of the church. With those needs met, we can look with fresh eyes at what ministries God is calling us to, and discern what sort of Associate Pastor we need for those ministries. Because of this significant opportunity, we’ve decided not to rush into decisions about a new pastor at this time, but rather to wait. We’ve determined several possible ways to meet the needs of the church as we do this important discernment work, and we look forward to reporting back to you about our progress within the next six weeks.
This is a season flooded with change, and I know that can be unsettling. I want you to know that I feel that uncertainty, too, but I also feel a strong sense of God’s spirit doing new, exciting work among us and through us! New possibilities are unfolding before us, and day after day, I find that God has, in fact, prepared us for this moment. What might happen? Who knows, with God on the loose! I look forward to taking the next steps together with you.
I am grateful for your partnership in God’s work, and I am unbelievably proud to be your Pastor.
With great love,