Welcoming Pastor Kara 

      From what I have learned and experienced over the years, churches either thrive or decline during an interim period.  Some congregations are able to maintain or even grow in wholeness, harmony, and unity.  Others become quarrelsome and divisive.  First Christian is definitely on the good side of the options.  This is a good way to welcome Pastor Kara to our church, but there are others ways.  As the church grows the importance of our lay leaders increase.  Therefore, lay leaders should redouble their  efforts to perform their responsibilities excellently, and don’t forget to let Pastor Kara know what is  occurring on your watch.

We have a lot of wonderful people here at FCC and Pastor Kara wants to learn who you are and what your ministerial needs are.  The first step is to learn your names, wear name tags for at least a month.  In conversation with one another when Pastor Kara is participating, identify each other by name.  This will help her learn who you are.

Most importantly, as we welcome Pastor Kara, let’s remember to keep her and her family in prayer.  The four of them need to get adjusted to new places and new routines.  Keep them in prayer and respect their family time.

Pastor Kara’s first Sunday in the pulpit will September 3.  I know some of you have long standing Labor Day weekend plans, but I hope many of those without such plans will attend that Sunday and many more.  Those with Labor Day weekend plans can attend many Sundays after that weekend.

Let’s join our hearts and spirits together to welcome Pastor Kara and Mark, Annie, and Luke to our congregation and community and into our hearts.      God Bless You!    

 

Providing Closure

      During my workshop on how to be a better interim pastor, I learned that interims had two special functions: to provide closure for the previous pastor and to welcome the next pastor.  Since then, I’ve learned that interims also have another function-providing closure for their own interim ministry.

You have been wonderful to us from the very start of our relationship.  But you stole our hearts when we drove up to the house that your representative had found for us and found a gang there ready to unload and unpack things for us.  When I got to the office I found a note from Pastor Don, which in part read “I know you will have a great time doing ministry with FCC Madisonville church family.”  I was immediately drawn to the phrase “doing ministry with”; and this has been by experience here, that the congregation was also “doing ministry” and you did not leave it to the church staff.  By and large it has been a great time.  We’ve lost several very dear saints, and that has caused us all pain.  But we give thanks that we have known them on our earthly journey, and relish spending eternity with them.

Preparing the church to welcome Pastor Kara has been a joy in two ways.  First, she brings skills and experiences which will benefit the First Christian Church as we continue to “make disciples” among all God’s children.  I feel very blessed to be able to entrust the pastoral ministry to someone who is so “deeply rooted” in faith [as someone who knows her well reported to me].  I have also been overjoyed by your willingness to prepare to give her a wonderful welcome and support during her years of ministry here.  I expect to hear wonderful things about FCC in the years to come.

The difficult task of breaking ties with FCC Madisonville will begin after worship on August 27.

Professional guidelines indicate that I am not to have ministerial contact with members of the congregation after I depart.  But that does NOT mean we have lost love or concern for you.  We’ll keep up via various social media.  When we hear about good things happening to members or to the congregation, we’ll laugh and pray and remember our good times here.  When we hear about bad things, we’ll cry and pray and remember our good times here.

Marilyn and I will return to our home in Florence on August 29 and we will begin another interim at the FCC of Covington-our second time there – on September 20.  God Bless You!  Larry

 

Getting Ready

When I was much younger, my parents played bridge once a month with three other couples.  They would take turns hosting the group.  When it was their turn to host, my mother usually assigned me the tasks of vacuuming the rugs and setting up the tables and chairs.  Everything had to be just right for our guests.

These memories of the hustle and bustle of our activities came flooding back as we begin the process of preparing for our new pastor.  There are many things we can do to prepare for Pastor Kara’s first Sunday:  Pray for us and her, make sure we have our contact information updated with the church, recommitting ourselves to our commitments to the congregation, catching up on our giving, participation in Bible study and worship, etc.

But today I want to call your attention to house cleaning.  Just as we cleaned and prepared for the bridge party, I hope we can prepare for Pastor Kara’s arrival [and also her family].  We will have a church-wide work day on Saturday August 5, beginning at 8 A.M.  This will be an excellent time to get some things better organized, cleaned up, fixed up, etc.  I hope many of you will be able to lend-a-hand to prepare our building and grounds for transition to Pastor Kara..        God Bless You!   Larry

 

Events

The “Eclipse” is happening August 21.  To fully appreciate it, we need to start preparing soon.  The most important item we will need is some sort of viewing device.  Don’t forget that viewing the sun directly harms or destroys your vision.  Get what type of viewing device you want soon, because the stores maybe sold out as we get closer to the time.  Second, we will need to find a place from which to view the solar event.  We need to check the projections against places from where we might want to view the event.  We don’t want to be waiting where the main event is hidden behind a house or tree or whatever.

Shortly after the eclipse First Christian Church will experience something of equal importance—the start of our new pastor.  We will begin the next leg of our spiritual quest to live more like Jesus and live out the kingdom of God in our community.   The next two months will be a wonderful time to take stock of our lives with God.  And you know what; you don’t have to do that in the sanctuary.  You can do that at the lake, or the ocean, or the mountains, or visiting with family or friends.  Think.  Reflect. Pray.  How does God want me to live?  What does God want me to do?  How do I overcome those factors which have been keeping me from being what God really created me to be?  I can’t answer those questions for you, but I can answer this one.  When do I start?   The answer is now.    God Bless You !    Larry

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