The United Methodist Church of Enfield
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.
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March 2018

I am close to finishing my Thirteenth and final year here at UMCE. Candy and I will be retiring in July and moving be Pennsylvania, a place where we both grew up. Time flies. It seems like it was yesterday that we just arrived here and were greeted with love and kindness. We were invited into your homes, your families and your hearts. We have laughed together, cried together, and celebrated together. At times we have disagreed with one another. Together as followers of Jesus Christ we have tried to work find new ways to build relationships with one another and others in our community.

In the United Methodist Church when it comes to being appointed to serve a church, I am sure you have heard it said, "Only the bishop knows" when it comes to appointments. All United Methodist pastors serve at the pleasure of their Bishop. It's really very simple for us. Churches get who the Bishop sends. Pastors go where the Bishop sends them. That simple system has given Candy and me an amazingly wonderful opportunity to serve churches in the New England Conference. Of the churches we have served, UMCE will forever hold a special place in our hearts as you are more than parishioners to us, you have been and always will be our family and friends. For us, our retirement is both bitter and sweet and we want to let you know how much you have blessed our lives. We love you and want to thank you for the time we have shared together in ministry and we are going to miss each and every one of you.

As you were made aware of during worship a few weeks ago, your new pastor has been appointed. The Rev. Janet Deranian, the present pastor of the Lennox United Methodist Church in Lennox, MA. is your new pastor starting July 1, 2018. She will be writing an introduction for an upcoming newsletter article and I just know that you will be blessed when she arrives in July. I will be working with her during the coming days and weeks to make her transition here as easy and successful as possible. My prayer is that during this season of Lent that we look forward to all the new possibilities that will occur here at UMCE during the coming months and year.

Natalie Sleeth wrote a beautiful hymn, “The Hymn of Promise” that speaks to these new possibilities and new life.

1 In the bulb there is a flower;

in the seed, an apple tree;

in cocoons, a hidden promise:

butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter

there’s a spring that waits to be,

unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see.


2 There’s a song in every silence,

seeking word and melody;

there’s a dawn in every darkness,

bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future;

what it holds, a mystery,

unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see.


3 In our end is our beginning;

in our time, infinity;

in our doubt there is believing;

in our life, eternity.

In our death, a resurrection;

at the last, a victory,

unrevealed until its season,

something God alone can see. 

As we move ever closer to the cross and then to Easter, this month, may we embrace his message and strive to live as he calls us to live – even in this world that would invite us to do otherwise. My prayer is that each of us will grow stronger in our faith during this season of Lent, so that when Easter comes, we will rejoice, as we sing together Christ the Lord is Risen Today!

Finally, this Lent I invite you to be in a time of spiritual growth, prayer, and listening for the Spirits direction as we seek to change in the way we are the church of Jesus Christ!