Well it is that time again. It is time for a January newsletter. Usually, I focus these little messages on resolutions and how, if we want real change, we need to seek transformation from God and not from our own will power. I still believe this to be true, but I also know this is a time of change for me personally and for our church. After January, I will be serving another congregation and my brother in Christ Rev. Jeremy Squires will be serving Nolensville First UMC. I am a big believer in change and I am constantly praying for God to bring about change in me and in the world. I am constantly praying that God will use me to be part of that plan. I would be a liar if I said I saw this change coming and I would be a hypocrite if I did not accept it with faith.

So today, I still look upon this corner of the world that we call home with hope and anticipation. I am still praying that God will bring about change in me and the world. I am also still praying that God will use me to be part of the plan where I serve next. I am excited and anxious. I am mourning a change and looking with anticipation on what can be. I hope that I am being faithful. I also have faith that Nolensville First will be in ministry to this community in profound ways bringing about the same change for which I have prayed. I look with anticipation on hearing about this place and knowing that, for a time, I got to be part of what God is doing here. 

So, as my last Newsletter to Nolensville First UMC, I want to encourage your faithfulness. I have seen it over the years and especially during the last two difficult years. I have seen hope, love, joy and peace in action.  I have seen forgiveness, peacemaking, and service all lived out in our community. I know it is easier to be faithful when all is predictable and seems in our control, but that seldom leads to real transformation.  Given the choice, most of us choose safety and comfort over the transformative power of the Gospel. So let’s choose faith this year right in the midst of change. Let’s choose faith because we still believe that God is at work bringing about a new day and that we are all called to be part of that plan.

I will not say goodbye because how could it be a goodbye when we will all continue the same mission I joined you in over four years ago. God was, is, and always will be faithful. The question is will we? I still believe in the mission handed down to us from Jesus himself and carried forth by faithful church people throughout the generations. I also still believe in the people of Nolensville First United Methodist Church. I have a lot more grey hair and I have added a few more pounds stress eating, but I would not change the journey for anything. God is not done with us and there is much left to be done. I feel blessed to have served with you and even during this time of transition I would sum up my feelings and hopes for this community with my favorite word: love. So let us continue the mission and begin a new journey with faith!

Your friend and fellow servant in Christ,