“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” and so the familiar words open Ecclesiastes 3; this beautiful chapter lifts the seasons of our lives and sacred tasks. The poem is followed in verses 9–13 with these thoughts and insights into our God-breathed tasks:
“What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.”
These beautiful words of scripture resonate in my heart as I share with you that I am soon entering a new season of my life and ministry. The time has come for my retirement for our Book of Discipline, states when one reaches the age of 72, we are to be appointed to retirement. My date of retirement is January 1, 2022, and my last Sunday will be December 12, 2021. I have known for years this day would come and I have grieved well and prepared my heart and mind for what may come next. We are always amid change and that is why my word for the year is hope. Hope is the gift of grace given for any change and hope does not disappoint. It is well with my soul.
For the past ten years, I found joy being engaged in ministry with you and this season has enriched my life beyond measure. It has been an honor to sit by your bedsides and pray with and for you, to participate in the joys and sorrows of your lives, to share in your griefs, and celebrate with you in your baptisms, marriages, healings, and times of change. I rejoice to have shared worship, bible study, prayer and hope with you as individuals and the community of faith. We have journeyed together during the ups and downs of pastoral changes, the chaos of renovations, the uncertainty of the pandemic, and found encouragement and hope with and for one another. I am so grateful to serve as one of your clergy growing in our faith, practice, and discipleship together.
Paul’s letter to the Philippian church resonates with my hope for this church, the Body of Christ in Conroe: I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. The good work of Jesus Christ within you all will not cease but will continue as you all go forward step by step, nothing going to waste, all used for building the kingdom of God wherever you may be.
Pastor of Adult Discipleship and Liturgical Worship
at First Methodist Conroe
On December 12, following the 11 AM worship service, a reception will be held celebrating Pastor Mary's ministry at FMC. We hope you will be there and show your gratitude to God and appreciation for her impact in your life! In the meantime you are encouraged to send cards or drop them off at front desk of church office.