I sat in the lawn of the parsonage today and watch the Sturgis Falls parade for the second time. Last year my family and I moved to Cedar Falls the day of the beginning the Sturgis Falls Festival and watched the parade the next day. We have now been in Cedar Falls a year. And what a year it has been!
Some ten months previously I had my first conversation with the District Superintendent in the Central District about the possibility of seeking ministry in the United Methodist Church. I shared with him my long journey to a Weslyan understanding of the faith and my desire to serve in the United Methodist Church because it best fit my understanding of the faith, the grace of God, the sacraments, the polity of the church and ministry.
Several months later I was given the privilege of being eligible for an appointment in the Iowa Conference. But at that time there was no promise that I would receive an appointment. It would depend on available openings in a local church that would be a match for their needs and my gifts and graces. And so I waited. My family and I waited through the appointive process as the Bishop and Cabinet work together to determine appointments for the coming year. And, on the last day of April I received a phone call from my future DS with the possibility of an appointment to First UMC in Cedar Falls.
When we got here it was energizing and exciting. I couldn’t wait to get started! I was starting in a new opportunity for ministry in a new family of faith. I was given opportunity to work with a fantastic staff and Senior Pastor in a church that has decided to move forward and go places. The past year I’ve had a great time working with the staff and members of the church. It has been a blast to help redesign the Sunday contemporary worship now known as Transformation Worship and work with the great people in the praise bands and design team. I’ve enjoyed helping the Senior Pastor, Steve Williams, with pastoral care, worship leadership and preaching, hospital visitation, and the boards and committees of the church.
At the same time it has been exciting to get to know United Methodists and become a part of the United Methodist connection! Even though I had been studying United Methodists as an outsider, there has been plenty to learn about my new family of faith as I have become an active part of a local UMC church and involved with the ministries of the Iowa Conference now as a Provisional Member.
This past year has been a year of transition, change, learning, stretching, and growing. It has felt good! It is good to be where I believe God wants me to be at this time in my life and at this place in my ministry. In a week I begin my second year under the appointment of the Bishop as Associate Pastor of First UMC Cedar Falls. I look forward to the exciting things God will do in the coming year!