Greetings my beautiful East End family,
One constant in life is change, and sometimes change comes at us suddenly and surprisingly. Just several weeks ago, I was settling into another year in my role as Associate Pastor at West End UMC when out of the blue, I received a phone call from our District Superintendent asking me to consider coming to be your pastor at East End. I was asked to indicate my interest quickly about whether or not I was willing to consider the shift. It only took me one day to think about the offer and to express my willingness to serve you.
I’m not always the best at making quick decisions, and I am not the most comfortable with transitions, so it is out of character for me to say yes to something new so immediately. However, there was no doubt in my mind, my heart, or my soul that God was calling me to East End UMC. I have long admired your congregation from afar (and sometimes up close). I love your history and rootedness in the heart of East Nashville. I love your commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ that announces compassion and salvation to a hurting world. I love your dedication to serving the community. I love your stance of inclusion and affirmation of all of God’s children. I love your capable and creative staff. I love the many faithful and deeply thoughtful people that comprise East End’s congregation, some of whom I already know and others of whom I have recently met. For once in my life, saying yes was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.
I’ll tell you more about myself, my family, my faith journey, my hobbies, and my interests in the coming weeks. For now, I simply want to say I am so grateful to be on this journey with you, and I look forward to our work together. It will take every one of us committed and engaged in the life of our church to rebuild it both physically and spiritually in the coming years, but I am so excited about what God has in store for us. I firmly believe East End’s best days are yet to come and that God is already leading the way and inviting us to come alongside.
I know this transition has happened quickly and the change has been sudden for you as well. If you have any questions or concerns for me, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I will be in Finland this coming Sunday on a trip that was planned prior to my appointment, but I will be back on October 16th to worship with you. I hope you will make plans to be there so I can meet you and begin to learn more about you and this amazing community of faith. I hope to see you there!
Grace and peace,