Dear Denver UMC Family,
If you know me at all, you know that I am almost never at a loss for words! However, as I sit down to try to wrap up my time in ministry at Denver UMC...I find myself staring at a blank screen, searching for words. It has been an absolute JOY to serve Jesus alongside so many wonderful friends in this corner of God’s world. As I say farewell, I want you all to know how I see Jesus in you and how I see you beautifully reflect His love in the world.
I see a faith family that loves its community well. I see a church whose heart beats for unleashing compassion through missions near and far. I see worship music that inspires hearts to praise and challenges hearts to encounter the living God and be shaped by the Spirit. I see a praying church, who trusts God and genuinely seeks His will. I see kids and youth who are leading fearless lives in pursuit of Jesus. I see Life Groups of all kinds that gather to live, to laugh, and to dive deep into God’s Word and who show up for each other every day - at baptisms, in hospitals, on playgrounds, on ball fields, and in family rooms. I see my staff friends all working tirelessly to create a space where people meet Jesus. All around, I see the Kingdom coming, one life at a time, and I am blessed to have been a small part of it. I see Jesus in you every single day, and I will miss all of you so much.
At the same moment, I hear God’s words to Abram rattling around in my soul, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you...so Abram left, as the Lord had told him...and they set out…” (Genesis 12: 1-5). I doubt Abram was expecting to move and start over at age 75, but he went, in faith and obedience. We weren’t expecting to move, but as a United Methodist pastor you make a vow to go where you are sent, so the Sain’s will be moving to Midway UMC in Kannapolis. My last Sunday at Denver UMC will be June 2nd. Pastors make this vow because we believe that the church is so much bigger than any one pastor, and we trust that God is calling, shaping and working all things together for the Kingdom. I encourage you to embrace your new pastor, as he is “setting out” just like I am. Please give him the love, grace, acceptance, and encouragement that you have offered me.
Almost every Sunday, when I stand up to welcome guests to worship I say something like, “This is a GREAT place to follow Jesus.” I believe that from the deepest part of my heart. This is a GREAT place to follow Jesus, and I am grateful for you and for the way you’ve poured Jesus into my life. God has AMAZING things in store for Denver UMC, so as I set out, my prayer for each of you is that you will keep seeking the places and people to which God has called you. And when you hear God calling...SET OUT, and keep pouring out Jesus into the world.
Blessings on the Journey,
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)