Hello First UMC Muncy,
It is my prayer that you all are doing well. I know that in times of transition, things can often feel chaotic, and people can become anxious. We are feeling that on our end of this transition as well. However, do not let your hearts be troubled, for I trust that God goes before us which means God is already with you in Muncy preparing the way. In fact, God has never left you or us but rather has been patiently preparing our introduction to one another. This does not, unfortunately, reduce the level of stress that accompanies a change in pastoral leadership, either for the church or the pastoral family.
One of the ways I manage stress is by cycling; grabbing my bike helmet, setting my feet on the peddles and hitting the road, cleansing my heart and mind, one stroke after another. Anytime I set out to explore a new biking route, I do so with excitement and apprehension. I feel excitement as I wonder what new things I will see and discover along the way. I feel apprehension about road conditions, traffic and whether there will be hills I cannot climb. But the excitement always overcomes the apprehension, and I go. As I cruise down the roads, I know I will have to navigate unexpected curves. Some I will approach overly cautiously, and others I may approach dangerously too fast. But each time I go, the road becomes more familiar and the curves less daunting.
One thing I’ve learned about living in the hills of Pennsylvania is that all roads have ups and downs. Some are easy to overcome, quickly crested, while others are painfully steep, tempting me to quit. However, by rotating one peddle after another, I get to the top.
I also know there will be potholes along the way that will make the ride uncomfortable and at times slow things down.
Each ride is an adventure, as is a change in pastoral leadership. As we prepare to make this “ride” together, know that we will encounter a few unexpected sharp curves, steep hills and potholes along the way. However, if we communicate well, are patient and loving, encourage one another along the way and don’t give up, we will reach our desired destination.
I am looking forward to this new ride and I hope you are as well. May God’s grace and peace be yours until we meet.