live long and prosper

at about 10:30 a.m. on my first day of class in washington, my phone rang. it was an unfamiliar 214 number. i answered it. it was my district superintendent, with a big surprise.

a couple of hours later i learned i would become the new pastor at prosper united methodist church. prosper is 5 miles north of frisco, directly in the path of one of the largest housing booms this nation has ever seen. there is incredible potential for dynamic growth. the area is extremely young. it is exactly the kind of appointment i have always dreamed of and prayed for. christy will be able to stay home with the boys. all of these factors added together mean it is a great opportunity for us.

we were introduced to prosper's staff-parish relations committee monday night, and tuesday i began the difficult task of informing trinity church folk that i would be leaving after a tenure of slightly more than two years. their response was universal: happy for my family and me, sad for the church, unsure of the appointive process. i really appreciated everyone's graciousness in receiving this news. here is a copy of the letter sent by the chair of the sprc to the congregation:

TO: Trinity United Methodist Church Members

We are all so fortunate to be a member of a great nurturing church body. Whether a congregation member or employee, everyone can be a part of this church body and grow is so many ways. As a connectional church we all know that our pastor stands to be moved when the Bishop sees the need and feels the pastor is ready for greater responsibility. With this understanding it is with mixed emotion that I announce to you that Pastor Frank is being called to another church. Effective February 15, he, Christy, James and Miles will be making their way to Prosper, Texas. I know we will all have mixed feelings—sadness that our Pastor and this great family will be leaving us and excitement that Frank has been identified to have abilities to lead an even larger congregation. I hope everyone will take the time in the few remaining weeks Frank will be with us to express appreciation for his dedication to the life of Trinity. He has done a great deal for us.

The Staff Parish Relations Committee will be meeting with District Superintendent Milton Guttierrez during this transition time to find another terrific pastor to lead us. Please feel free to call me or any member of Staff Parish if you have any questions or concerns.

God Bless,
Jim LawrenceStaff Parish Relations Committee Chairperson

i will be praying for trinity during this time of transition, for the (unnamed so far) new pastor, and for the vision of the church to continue. last year was a time of great renewal at trinity, and my hope is that a pastoral change will not impede that progress. to the members of trinity church: we will always be grateful for this appointment. your love and graciousness are wonderful gifts to offer any pastor.