Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ —
The One Who Is, the One Who Was, and the One Who Is to Come!
Recently our church members received the news that in consultation with our Bishop Al Gwinn and our District Superintendent Jerry Lowry, I accepted an appointment to Queen Street United Methodist Church in Kinston, North Carolina. As I shared with the congregation at that time it was through prayer and a clear sense of God’s calling that Cindy and I were able to consider and ultimately accept this appointment.
I want to add that Cindy and I continued throughout this process to dream God’s dreams for Pinehurst UMC. I remain excited about what God is continuing to do in this place:
- We celebrated with three Duke interns their ministry among us and wished them Godspeed on their journeys.
- We celebrate the addition of Rev. Emil Johnson as our Minister of Membership to assist in welcoming newcomers to our church and help them find a home in the body of Christ at Pinehurst UMC.
- We celebrate the addition of Shirley Baldwin, RN as our Congregational Nurse. Shirley is already working with members of the church to provide wellness programming as well as visiting those who desire her assistance in paying attention to their individual needs.
- We anticipate the arrival of Rachel Doboney on May 20 as a Duke intern for this summer. We also celebrate that a family has already offered a portion of their home for Rachel to live in for the summer.
- We anticipate the Renovare Spiritual Renewal Conference coming to our church on Saturday July 28. The planning team has set a goal of over 200 persons in attendance from among our membership and from other churches in the area. James Bryan Smith and Glandion Carney will bring their winsome personalities here and invite to take a deeper walk with Jesus Christ on daily basis.
- We anticipate training Peg Walsh as a Stephen Leader to join a team committed to training Stephen Ministers for our congregation later this fall. We also anticipate the unknown persons who will respond to a call from God to become Stephen Ministers.
- We anticipate a new addition to our building which will allow us to expand our programming for children, youth, and adults. The building committee, chaired by Ed Geoghegan with Mary Sayers as vice-chair and Holly McDow as secretary, is already making good progress.
Over the coming weeks we will have moments to laugh and cry together as our family departs from the role of pastor of this church. When I arrived here I invited you all to call me by my baptized name of “Allen” as a reminder that as baptized Christian we had a new relationship to each other. Over the years, often in the midst of moments of tension, I reminded us that this baptismal relationship means that “water is thicker than blood.” And so I remind you again that in Christ we always remain sisters and brothers together in ministry to a broken world.
Cindy, Ann, William, and I will miss being part of Pinehurst UMC, but know that our friendship in Jesus Christ never ends. We thank you for allowing us to joyfully pursue the connecting and transforming power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as we have worshipped, fellowshipped, and served together.
Grace and Peace, Allen