A Time of Expectancy & Anticipation

A Time of Expectancy & Anticipation

To everything there is a season….
– Ecclesiastes 3:1

As you have probably heard, I will be retiring as of Annual Conference this June. First, I want to thank everyone who has responded with such kind words. After 5 years of living in community with you, we have grown to love everyone. We will also miss you as we move into this next season of life. Change is sometimes difficult and can cause anxiety – mainly because we are not sure what the future holds. Such feelings are understandable. I’m sure that not even God is surprised by those feelings – after all, He created us. However, as Christians, in the midst of our anxiety we have the comfort of knowing that the One who holds the entire universe in the palm of His hand also is in charge of the future of His church.

The Holy Spirit has been guiding Front Street in anticipation of this time. Leaders have continued to grow in maturity and ability. Everyone in the church understands that you are also ministers by virtue of your baptism. Think about what that means! Our average worship attendance, including those who participate remotely, is about 315. So, while one paid minister in the church is changing, there are still approximately 314 ministers still forging ahead to do the work of the Kingdom through Front Street church! That’s exciting!

The long-term trend of ministry at FSUMC is a great example of the fact that ministry in a local church should not rise and fall with the coming and going of pastors. Ministry should be owned by the people in the congregation. If the ministry of Front Street ceases to move forward in a meaningful way just because I have gone, then I have failed to adequately do my job, which is to help equip the saints for ministry. However, I feel that you are well-equipped to continue to do great things for the Kingdom...in Burlington and beyond. 

As I look forward, I already give thanks to God for the infusion of new energy and enthusiasm that will come with a new pastor who will work alongside you. I pray that you join me with that same spirit of expectancy and anticipation!

Just as you all did such a wonderful job of welcoming Sarah and me five years ago, I have every confidence that you will offer the same loving hospitality to Rev. Ray Warren and his wife. For those of you who have never been a part of welcoming a new pastor into your midst, I read an interesting article recently that offered a few simple ideas that you can do to demonstrate your hospitality. Here they are:

  • Open your heart and decide that you are going to love your new pastor.
  • Begin praying daily for your new pastor and family, even as you continue to pray for your departing pastor and family.
  • Send cards of welcome and encouragement to our incoming pastor (use church mailing address: PO Box 2597, Burlington NC 27216).
  •  Introduce yourself to the pastor… repeatedly! You have one name to learn; your pastor has many names to learn.

I give God thanks for the time that we have had together in ministry, and will continue to lift the Front Street congregation in prayer as you journey boldly into the future!

Grace and peace,  
Pastor Ross


Last Published: June 8, 2022 1:48 PM
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