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This is new territory for me, but that seems to be the way of life for now- rolling with whatever comes along.  When asked by Pauline what we were doing for the Pastor’s note in the newsletter, I replied, “I have no idea.”  So here I am, giving it my best.

Reading again Pastor Duane’s “final comments” from last month and many attended and listened to Pastor Duane’s last service on June 21st memories flowed and so did tears.  (Its our the church website if you missed it or want to watch it again –   God’s house was packed and if he ever thought he didn’t impact people’s lives, he was greatly mistaken. Pastor Duane’s last day at FUMC isThursday, June 25th.  He made a different in Fennimore, at FUMC, and the surrounding communities as well.  He’s done great things at FUMC but we also know how much he is looking forward to retirement, being able to spend time with his bride and he miraculous grandchildren he never thought he would be blessed with.  That alone gives us comfort in knowing he will be busy and enjoying it greatly.  We greatly appreciate all his time, talent, effort, support, leadership, love, and dedication he gave to serving the Lord, not only at FUMC but churches for a total of 50 years.  Thank you Pastor Duane, we love you and will miss you!    

We’ve also been looking to the future for the arrival of Pastor Bud and the questions are flying.  Will we like him, is he a good fit, does he have energy, is he passionate about his faith journey, will he grow the church?  I think we’re going to be pleased with whom God chose to lead FUMC.  It’s a God thing, not a church thing!  But with all this being said, one word came to mind instantly, Transition!  The definition for transition is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.    Change, passage, move, transformation, conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover.   Undergo or cause to undergo a process or period of transition.  Here at FUMC we are in transition.  

God’s timing was perfect, as it always is, for Pastor Bud and his family to come to FUMC.  He will officially begin being our pastor on Wednesday, July 1st, and his first worship service with communion will be on Sunday, July 12th at 9:00am.  (You’re stuck with me for worship on June 28th & July 5th)  His wife, and two daughters will be here on the 12th and we hope everyone will be able to meet them.  Following service we will have a “GET TO KNOW YOU” Coffee hour to welcome Pastor Bud, Lori, and their two daughters to FUMC.   

In Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 tells us that for everything there is a season and here at FUMC we are definitely in a season.  A season of change, a season of transition, and we’re all in the middle of it; but it’s a great place to be. I have been and will continue to try my best to help everyone with the transition from Pastor Duane to Pastor Bud and find my place somewhere. We were blessed because the last several months Pastor Duane switched from a leadership role to a mentoring role and it has helped greatly.  God asks each of us to do our best and that is what I will continue to do for all of you, the church, and most importantly for God.   

I continue to believe and feel that God has big plans for FUMC and he continues to unfold amazing things that ONLY God could do; and we’re thankful for that.   We, as this community of faith, FUMC, need to be intentional about our individual faith journey, share it with others, bring people to know Jesus Christ, invite them to church and grow God’s kingdom – that is what we are commanded to do by God – do his will.  Are you doing it?  Let’s get a jump on it!  Starting July 28th we have a connectional group starting entitled WEIRD-because normal isn’t working!  Check it out and come join us.  Sunday nights at 7:12pm for six weeks!  A great way to spend your Sunday nights – with WEIRD friends. 

Thank you for allowing me to serve you, as the Pastoral Associate, and I pray everyone will be patient, understanding, and willing to embrace change as we continue in this season of transition.  Lets make the best out of it!         

Serving with Love,

Renee Thomas 

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