Welcome Pastor Katie

Gentle Readers,

 You can exhale now! 

It feels as if we have been holding our collective breath over the past two months as we have anxiously awaited the identity of our new pastor.  Drum roll please, QAUMC’s new pastor is Rev. Katie Ladd.  Rev. Katie recently met with our SPR Committee and I have heard that the meeting resulted in a thumbs-up all the way around.  Thank You SPR for your hard work and diligence.  Welcome Rev. Katie. 

Though our new pastor has been identified and we have all exhaled, this does not mean that we can totally relax.  It only means that the focus of our attention will change.  Transitions are a critical time.  Receiving a new pastor is a significant occasion in the life of a church and therefore deserves some reflection.

I ask you to offer prayers for Rev. Katie and the church as you embark on this part of the journey together.  Encourage and support Rev. Katie and the church with your energy, talents and spiritual gifts as well as your financial contributions.  If you haven’t volunteered before, consider stepping up and volunteering for a role in the church, or even volunteering more than usual.  Help contribute to the unity of the church.  Commit to remain faithful and engaged so that God’s intended work can be accomplished.

Wow, it has been three years and this is the last newsletter that I will write for the Spirit.  In another few weeks I will be moving to Leavenworth Community UMC.  It feels quite strange to no longer call Queen Anne my home church, but it feels great and it is comforting to turn over the shepherding of the congregation to Rev. Katie.

I have been blessed to walk with you for three years and to help you prepare for your next pastor.  I have grown so much during my time here, and I leave with heartfelt joy.  Thank you for your love and support.   I am hopeful that your ministry with Rev. Katie will be fruitful in the years to come. I pray that the exhale that has been released becomes a movement of the Holy Spirit in this church, blessing all in the name of Christ.

 Pastor Denise

Pastor Denise is Leaving for Leavenworth UMC;

Transitions

For many years I worked as a product developer.  I loved the work, but after a while the company recognized that we were designing products to suit us; to suit our existing tools, our existing manufacturing systems, our existing supplier skills, our existing packaging, and on and on.  Design was based on what we did well and what was comfortable.  We wanted to do more of the same.

And then competition came along.  We knew that we had to do some things differently if we wanted to remain viable as a company.  We had to retool.  We had to learn new skills.  We discovered that we really needed to design to address user needs, not for our own ease.

Designing with the user in mind was hard.  We actually had to get outside of our doors to talk, and more importantly, to listen to people.  We had to translate words like cool, pretty, easy, sophisticated and simple, into engineering terms.  Did I mention it was hard?

Our church and many churches are in a similar situation.  For many years we have been doing things in a way that is easy for us.  Our church and many churches have avoided getting outside our doors and asking about the needs of the community.  We have avoided having the hard discussions about the retooling and skill-building necessary for us to be 21st century disciples.

We have a great opportunity before us.  We can engage it with fear and continue doing the same old thing the same old way, OR, we can re-commit ourselves to going out to the world.  It is hard, but it can be done.  Matthew says, seek first the kingdom and the increase will be provided.

It is no surprise that scripture repeatedly tells us, ‘Do not fear’.  I read somewhere that Faith is not the absence of fear. Faith is feeling the fear & then acting on the promises & purposes of God anyway.” 

Shortly I will be leaving this church, but the hurts and the needs in our community remain present, and this church has the capacity to help.  I pray that Queen Anne also has the courage to overcome the fear and to engage its calling.

 Pastor Denise