New Kids In Town
posted on July 09
New Kids In Town
There's talk on the street; it sounds so familiar.
Great expectations, everybody's watching you.
People you meet, they all seem to know you.
Even your old friends treat you like you're something new…
(“New Kid in Town” – The Eagles, 1976)
This year, our Western North Carolina Cabinet oversaw over 200 shifts in appointments. In some cases, it was as simple as a change in time designation or charge configuration. In others, it was a course of prayer-filled decisions that moved pastors and families hundreds of miles into brand-new settings. In our own Northern Piedmont District, we were a part of several of those shifts. This week, we are welcoming the following pastors into the hallways and roadways of the awesome Northern Piedmont District:
Joel Bartz - Mount Lebanon/Level Cross
Clark Chilton - Wesley Memorial Associate
Brian Crady - Mount Vernon
Jerry Evans - Bethlehem/Wentworth
Bev Gaska - Fairgrove
Nathan Harris - Laughlin Memorial/Newlyn Street
Amanda Kidd - Highland/Rankin/Ward Street
Matthew Johnson - Glencoe
Stuart Jones - Mount Hermon
Denise Kilgo-Martin - Summerfield Peace
Melissa Lowe - Wesley Memorial Associate
Ed McKinney - Stokesdale
Debra Short - Bethlehem (Climax)
Jeremy Troxler - Guilford College
Earnest Watkins - Flat Rock/Mount Carmel (Stokesdale)
And we are thankful to be able to continue in ministry alongside the following pastors, who have changed charge configurations or ministry locations within our District:
Wendy Barnes - Jamestown Associate
Clarinda Crawford - Highland/Rankin/Ward Street
Al Everett - St. Peter’s/Ferree’s Chapel (Randleman)
Carter Ferguson - Prospect/Pleasant Hill
Michelle Foster-Beckerleg - Woodmont/Mission First
Don Newman - St. John’s
Alan Pruitt - Lowe’s
Mark Smith - Hinshaw
Pat Spicer - Mayodan
Finally, we are so pleased to welcome the following new student pastors to our district:
Jason Boggs - First Liberty/Bethany
Kimberly Clarke - Triad Native American
Benjamin Free - Spring Hill (serving currently as Lay Supply)
Vickie Mitchell - Mizpah (Reidsville)
We hope that all of you “new kids in town” will find a very warm welcome here, not only in your local churches but also from your neighbors in Missional Networks and from clergy who are eager to know you and work alongside you for the good of the Gospel. We hope you will find an eagerness for the work of reconciliation, an ardent desire for spiritual formation, and a concern for the well-being of our clergy so that our churches might be their healthiest and most effective.
We will see several of our new pastors next Tuesday, July 16 at 9:30am for their orientation, but we will look forward to seeing ALL of our clergy at our Fall Meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 5 at 9:00am. Both of these meetings will be at Christ UMC, Holden Road. In our district, we only have one official clergy meeting per year, so it’s an important one! At other times, we will gather for learning in smaller groups, but this is our only business meeting.
I encourage you to reach out to our “new kids” with a word of welcome. Some are returning “home” and others are serving in places that are brand new to them. Let us fulfill the calling of the Letter to the Hebrews: “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2) This behavior pleases God - extend hospitality and encourage each other in every way. These new kids are angels in our midst!