News And Notes

Open Letter to our Extended Families of Mt. Pleasant and Tome Memorial United Methodist churches

After much prayer, discernment and deliberation Bishop Peggy Johnson and the cabinet of the Peninsula-Delaware conference of the United Methodist Church have asked me to take another missional appointment, and I have accepted this call. Effective March 1, 2011 (a little over two weeks from today) I am sent to serve the congregation of Christ United Methodist church and the community of Chestertown, MD.

As Debbie and I prepare for this transition, we are filled with much joy, sadness, excitement and a bit of trembling.

 

We are filled with joy because you have allowed us to become your partners in ministry. I give glory and honor to God for your love, partnership and support. It was a privilege to be your pastor; you have allowed Debbie and I to share your journeys while we were together and you walked with me on my journey through seminary and CPE; you prayed with me and for me as I prepared for commissioning and ordination; and we celebrated together these and many other milestones in all of our lives.

 

We are sad and grieving because our lives are interconnected with yours, and we became friends. You opened your hearts, minds, and homes to Debbie and I; you welcomed us into your communities and we will always be grateful for that. All of you have become a part of our thoughts, prayers and daily lives and it is hard for us to imagine our lives apart from you. One of my mentors told me recently that “grief is the price of love.” You loved us and we grieve the prospect of being separated from all of you.

We are trembling because we recognize what an awesome responsibility it is to serve our God, and that with this move we will have to face new and different challenges, develop and nurture new relationships and rebuild our lives in a new location. But that call also fills us with a sense of excitement, because we feel the presence and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this transition. We look forward to learning the history and traditions of Christ UMC and Chestertown, MD, to getting involved in the life of the church and the community and making new friends there.

Debbie and I still have two Sundays and a lock-in to share with the communities of Mt. Pleasant and Tome Memorial. Meanwhile Pastor Bill Sterling and Pastor Derrick Porter (District Superintendents of the Easton and Wilmington districts) are working out the final details of this pastoral transition and move. We will keep you posted.

Thank you for being a part of our lives and allowing us to become a part of yours. We will miss you all.

I envision great things ahead for you, and know that you will continue to thrive and grow under the leadership of your next pastor. He/she and their family are fortunate to be joining such a caring, welcoming, Spirit-filled and God-inspired community.

As we prepare for this transition, Debbie and I covet your prayers. In addition we ask you to pray for our Bishop – Pastor Peggy Johnson, the District Superintendents of the conference – (in alphabetical order) Pastor Boyd Etter, Pastor Gary Moore, Pastor Charlotte Nichols, Pastor Derrick Porter, and Pastor Bill Sterling, as well as all the pastors and congregations who are going through pastoral transition at this time.

I love you and I thank God for the honor and the privilege of living among you and serving you as your Pastor!

I want to close with the words of Paul found in Second Corinthians 13: 11 because these words seem to express my feelings at this moment,

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words:

· Be joyful.

· Grow to maturity.

· Encourage each other.

· Live in harmony and peace.

Then the God of love and peace will be with you(NLT, punctuation added, aft).

Philos

Asher and Debbie

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