When I welcome you to worship on Sundays mornings, I always introduce myself as your transitional interim pastor until the end of the year. When Kate asked me to be the interim when she was out following Sam's birth, my role was clear. I was to keep the ship moving through the channel until the captain came back from leave.
But then Kyle was offered a job in the Council of Bishops office in Washington, DC. My role shifted to that of a
transitional interim pastor. That means my job responsibilities include guiding the congregation in saying a thankful farewell to your beloved pastor and her family and then a heartfelt welcome to a new pastor in January.
And, mixed in with all that is working through some transitional issues with the General Board of Global Ministries: settling in new office space, learning to work in, worship in, and minister out of a facility that was for so long the responsibility of Grace UMC and now belongs to GBGM!
I am told that in the early conversations between GBGM and Grace, there was language of a shared ministry, a partnership. I hope that conversation will be ongoing. Any relationship between partners requires honest and forthright conversation, sacrifice on all sides, almost daily communication, and a common purpose.
GBGM's stated mission and vision is:
The General Board of Global Ministries is the global mission agency of The United Methodist Church, its annual conferences, missionary conferences, and local congregations. Its purpose is to connect the Church in mission. Its mission is to equip and transform people and places for God's mission around the world-which includes making disciples of Jesus Christ; strengthening, developing, and renewing Christian congregations and communities; alleviating human suffering; and seeking justice, freedom, and peace.
Toward that purpose GBGM has re-located to Grace on Ponce.
Not so oddly, Grace on Ponce can easily claim the four parts of GBGM's vision statement. We can become the congregation and community that God's own Spirit has been renewing under Kate's pastoral leadership for five years. That re-creation process will continue with your new pastor comes in January.
And, in the midst of all of these changes, there is still such great opportunity! As we explore what it means to share our gifts in ministry, I encourage each of you to prayerfully consider how you can
lend your gifts
to support Grace's ministries in 2017.
Rev. Lee Fullerton
Transitional Interim Pastor