“Once you meet Jesus – once you see, and hear and taste and smell life in Jesus, you don’t see things the same way ever again. It is risky business to enter into conversation with Jesus. Who knows where it might take you. Sometimes it just takes two words. Follow me!” (Bishop Cynthia Harvey, Ordination Sermon, “And They Saw and They Went,” June 18, 2016, Biblical Texts: John 1:35-46; I Samuel 3:1-11)
It’s been sometime since you heard from me but I’m preparing to reenter after six weeks of renewal leave (I’ll write more about that next week). In the meantime, I want you to know (This will be short and sweet and to the point since I’m typing this at 3 am on Wednesday morning.) what happened at Annual Conference 2016, especially with some of our Clemmons UMC people who said “Yes” to Jesus and have followed him into ministry and service in our church.
Rev. Paula Northrup was recognized along with other retirees on Friday, June 17 at a special service in Stuart Auditorium. Paula and I first served together at Central United Methodist Church in Monroe when she was hired as the Associate after finishing her degree at Duke Divinity. She served at Central for four years and then was appointed to Center United Methodist where she served until 2011. She was then appointed to Friendship United Methodist Church in 2012. One year later Clemmons United Methodist and I “came a knocking.”
How fortunate I am, also Clemmons United Methodist, that Paula agreed to serve with me once again. I’ve always said she was the “perfect yin to my yang.” Fortunately, Paula will be staying on part-time as Pastor of Parish Concerns. Please congratulate Paula for her sixteen years of service.
Rev. Gloria Hughes created the banner and all of the altars for worship at Annual Conference 2016. She was also voted in as chair for the Order of Deacons. Gloria’s husband, Dr. Chris Hughes whose been the pastor at Bethel/Centennary, was appointed to Yakinville United Methodist Church as the new Senior pastor. Chris and Gloria will only be thirty minutes away so Gloria will be continuing at Clemmons United Methodist as Pastor of Discipleship.
How appropriate that we celebrated sixty years of ordination of women at this year’s Annual Conference. We certainly have two of the best at Clemmons!
On Saturday night, Rev. Clark Chilton was ordained as a Deacon and brought into full connection in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. I cannot tell you how proud I am of Clark and his accomplishments over the last five years. He has brought Clemmons One and the Praise Service to new levels. Again, we are so fortunate to have someone like Clark as a part of the team.
As a surprise to Clark, Madison Marshall sang Oceans at the Ordination service on Saturday night. I cannot tell you how proud we all were of Madison as she stood before 1,500 people and sang her heart out. What a dedicated young lady that would spend her eighteenth birthday at Lake Junaluska with 1,500 United Methodists in worship. Madison will attend Catawba College this fall as a Music and Worship Arts Major. It seems like only yesterday that she was fourteen and singing for the first time with our Praise Team!
Unfortunately, Nathan Webb has transitioned from Clemmons where he has worked for the last two years as the Clemmons One, Associate with Clark. Nathan will marry Logan Dunn this summer and begin Duke Divinity School this fall. He will serve Pelham United Methodist Church (North of Greensboro) part-time. Congratulations to Nathan and Logan as they begin this journey together.
Rev. Don Carlton came on board the first of June as pastor of Missions/Pastoral Care. Don and Paula will share Pastoral care responsibilities. Welcome Don and Amy Carlton.
Finally, the Bishop fixed the appointments on Sunday at the end of Worship. As a result, Beverly and I will return to Clemmons United Methodist for our sixth year! I cannot tell you how honored I am to be back at Clemmons. The last five years have been incredible. I’m looking forward to another five or more! I’ll see you on Sunday, July 3 at all three services. I’m looking forward to it.
Grace and Peace,
“You are here because you want to make a difference. You want to do a new thing! There is a whole world out there that needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.” (Bishop Cynthia Harvey)