by Jason Byassee
I know the Bible warns against pride. The church has called it the chief of sins…but I confess I’m feeling really proud at the moment. I hope it’s the kind of pride that the bible is ok with! And I hope you’ll read to the bottom – I have one more thing on which I need your help, and I look forward to being proud of the result.
First…I’m really proud of the bishop and cabinet for sending us David Hockett as our next senior pastor. David is a great friend of many years who will do a fantastic job. He and I served on the Board of Ordained Ministry together, interviewing candidates for ministry about doctrine. We always sat together, and have gotten to the point where we could anticipate one another’s questions. We see so eye-to-eye on theology and learned how to work in sync (one of the best candidates we ever interviewed was our own Rev. Laura Beach!). Our committee chair finally separated us like misbehaving 5th graders. “You’re intimidating the candidates!” she said. I admire David’s theological mind and his heart for leadership. He has 23 years of pastoral experience—vastly more than I. And I love him. He’s just the right person for our next stage as a community.
My prayer was that God wouldn’t make me lie to you, Boone Methodist. That is, I was going to tell you that whoever was sent our way was going to be the cat’s meow. I was just worried I’d have to cross my fingers while saying it! I don’t. He’s a brilliant choice, and I couldn’t be more proud. In a way he’ll be my pastor too – I’ll get to report back to our charge conference here at Boone Methodist, like a missionary being sent to Canada by BUMC.
Second…I’m proud of our Laity Service Award winners. Once a year, our District awards some of our lay leaders with a prize for remarkable service to our congregation. First was Mary Carolyn Abernathy, who stepped down last year as our Family Life Chair after years of faithful service. She made our meals elegant, and made them look effortless (though of course they weren’t!) – thank you MCA! She also volunteered far beyond her official duties. Tamera Holsehouser, Sarah Strickland, and our new kitchen coordinator Lynn Rollins are following in her faithful footsteps, and their job is easier for her good work.
Secondly the Carlson family – the whole clan! Cynthia and Craig and Jonathan and Patrick set up each Sunday for our Crossroads service. They greet and welcome new people. Cynthia has a role in seeing that our service in there stays on the rails time-wise. She can rap me or Vern on the knuckles in such a sweet way that we feel loved when we’re reprimanded! It is unusual to give this award to a whole family, but these folks serve and lead as a unit—and we’re so grateful.
Finally, Geri Coffey from our Blackburn’s Chapel campus was awarded. Geri has served BBC as its treasurer for many years before recently handing those duties off to Dorothy Osborne. She has selflessly given her time and wisdom across that campus’s many activities. She’s the sort of leader in Todd who when she speaks (not often!) everyone listens (always). Her kind spirit and servant’s heart are contagious and we’re so grateful to her.
Lastly, let me say how proud I am of you, Boone Methodist. Two weeks ago we had an embarrassingly low number of Faith Promise pledge offerings for our mission giving for 2015-2016. I just know it’s going to go up. Missions is too important to our community not to support and expand it. We simply aren’t a church without missions. You can get a form in the lobby on Sunday, or you can submit your pledge electronically. Thank you for your support of the mission of Jesus Christ in Boone and far beyond- that’s who our church is.