(This week the great Willie Nelson turned 80. In honor of his birthday I tried a new ice cream, which was disappointing. So now I do him the great honor of lending the title to one of his more famous tunes to a blog post about an appointment change. You're welcome, sir.)
I received the news late last week that I will have an appointment change this summer. This was not a surprise, as I had requested a change in March for family reasons. What was a surprise was the destination- Custer Road UMC in Plano- and my role- an Associate Pastor position, working alongside incoming Senior Pastor Kory Knott. My exact duties are unknown at this point, but most of my work will center around developing a long-term strategy for growth at one of North Texas' leading churches. This appointment allows us to stay in the same house and the boys at their school. As I said, this was a change I sought- neither Oak Lawn's SPRC nor the appointive Cabinet initiated the move. I would have never dreamed the church would be Custer Road. I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity.
I want to thank Oak Lawn for its welcome of my family and me when we were assigned here two years ago. I knew there was vital work to be done here- establishing a new vision for ministry, helping to strengthen short and long term finances, and help the church embrace new opportunities to engage the surrounding community. I am very pleased with what we accomplished: from establishing a permanent endowment fund, to hands on ministry in the neighborhood at Ash Wednesday and on the Katy Trail, to raising a new generation of leaders who bring incredible skills and passion. Over the last two years we have celebrated the lives of some great Oak Lawn saints, many of whom had an incredible impact on my formative years in ministry. What an honor to celebrate both their earthly, and heavenly, lives.
I like to say, "No one ever really leaves Oak Lawn." In fact, I just said it the other day to an outstanding young family moving to California later this summer! It's true, especially in our case. This will be the third time we've left Oak Lawn, and every time there have been new experiences, faces, and memories to take with us. Thank you for the privilege of being your pastor these last two years.