Soon, I will begin a 12-week renewal leave; I will be gone from May 17 until August 10. I am grateful to you for giving the time off and grateful to the Lilly Endowment for Clergy Renewal that is funding my travels. Most of the preparation is already complete.
The preaching over those 12 weeks will be covered by staff members of Christ Church, long-time members of Christ Church, people Christ Church has sent into full-time ministry, and the four surviving former pastors. When each former pastor preaches, we will have a social gathering like we did when each was pastor, and we will converse about what was strong in Christ Church during each pastor’s tenure, where we still see the strength and what opportunities we have to reclaim the strength.
Pastoral care, such as visitation for the very sick and any funerals, will be handled by Rev. Ron Carlson from Eldridge United Methodist Church. Please call the church office for instructions on reaching him. Kerri Tompkins, our Business Administrator, will handle policies, staff time-off, and so on. April Buske, our Director of Discipleship, will oversee the program of the church through the summer.
As you explore and celebrate Christ Church’s history, I will be studying my family’s long Methodist heritage, the highlight of which will be six weeks with my wife and kids in Europe, seeing where my ancestors lived and worked. I am so grateful for this opportunity and so excited to see you again in August!