Last post: March 12th. Wow. I am a slacker.
But in my own defense, I have had some things on my mind since then. Not an excuse, just an explanation. Ya' see...
In June of this year, the Bryan family will be moving to Springfield, Missouri, where I will be appointed to serve as pastor of Campbell United Methodist Church. The appointment has been announced both at Campbell and here in North Kansas City, so it will be made official at Annual Conference, and the last weekend of June will be our first weekend in Springfield.
When the Ozarks South District Superintendent Kendall Waller told me about Campbell UMC and the particular needs of that congregation, he gave me some time to pray and think about it, and to talk it over with my wife Erin. In this process, I discerned that God is calling me to serve as the pastor there. I said yes to this appointment because Erin and I truly believe that we are being called to Campbell.
Of course, that is not to say that we are eager to leave Northtown – far from it! We love this remarkable congregation, and the last four years together have been filled with love and joy and genuine Christian friendship. I heard someone relatively new to the congregation say recently, “I am constantly amazed at how much you all actually enjoy being together. It’s like you really like each other!” How true that is, and what a wonderful thing to be said of a congregation.
And that’s what the new pastor is going to find here – a remarkable, Christ-centered, people-focused congregation. The new pastor is going to find a congregation who understands its mission to provide a Spiritual Home in which all persons can live and grow in their relationships with God and one another. The new pastor is going to find a vital and vibrant congregation with a lot of momentum and energy, growing both spiritually and numerically, and always ready to reach out and convey the love of Christ in all they say and do.
And so we're leaving a good place - and going to a good place. Campbell UMC is a community of really great people who have been through a lot together. I have already sensed an eagerness and an energy in the people there that promises some pretty good things. God is clearly at work in the community, and we are looking forward to being there and getting to know everybody. I can see nothing but wonderfulness in the future for Campbell!
Itenerant preachers sometimes have to leave a place where things have not gone well - that can be messy. And sometimes we have to go to a place that we are sort of dreading - that can be scary. But how lucky am I, leaving one vital and vibrant congregation and going to another one!
Your prayers during this time of transition will be greatly appreciated.