Blessed be the (Renewed) Ties That Bind!

Greetings to our new church family!  Or is it our old church family?  Since the news of our appointment change came down May 11 it's been difficult to keep everything together mentally, physically, and in every other way!  We are so grateful to the Oak Lawn church family for the gracious welcome we have received.  I have enjoyed reuniting with long-term staff members, as well as getting to know those who came on board after we left Oak Lawn eight years ago.  We are very excited to be a part of this community once again and look forward to many years of ministry together.

For those of you who were not around between 1998-2003, here are some  "getting to know you" items about the Drenner family:

* Christy and I have been married fourteen years.  We met at the United Methodist student ministry at SMU.  James (9) was baptized here at Oak Lawn.  Miles (6) and Linus (3) came later.  The biggest boys will attend Brentfield Elementary (Richardson ISD- 4th and 1st grades); Linus will attend Arapaho UMC's preschool.

* Christy has two degrees from SMU: a BBA in Finance, and a BA in Religious Studies.  I have a BA in History from Sam Houston State, a Master of Divinity from Perkins, and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC

* Christy claims both Austin and El Paso as home; I grew up in Bay City, south of Houston.

* We have served a variety of appointments: Oak Lawn as intern and Associate Pastor; Methodist churches in England for a year; and the last eight years as lead pastor in congregations in Denison, Duncanville, and Prosper.  Christy works at Christ's Foundry United Methodist Mission as its Financial Officer.

* My passion in ministry is making disciples through prayer and study.  It is always a joy to see God shaping an individual into a new creation!  I love teaching and preaching.  I love sharing in the lives of others.  My least favorite part of ministry is meetings.  A favorite line from a book I read years ago: "Jesus never said, 'Go and serve on a committee.'"

* My hobbies include Pez collecting- come by my office sometime and check them out- baseball, and movies.

I am thrilled to see how the Oak Lawn church has embraced its community's diversity over the years.  I love the many social justice ministries our church offers.  In fact, let me must say how proud I am of Oak Lawn UMC.  Many years ago our church made a commitment to stay here on this corner in this historic building.  I was thinking the other day about how our church is the only one with Oak Lawn in its name.  We are not Uptown UMC.  We are not Just North of Downtown UMC.  And we are not Generic UMC located in Oak Lawn.  We are proudly, boldly, unashamedly Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, located within one of the most exciting and interesting neighborhoods in all of Dallas!

It's going to take some getting used to being back here.  The Pez are not located in Milton/Justin/Mike/Derrick/Katherine's office, but mine.  I'll say something about dreams and deja vu in the message this morning, so for now let's say, as unbelievable as it sounds: "We're back!" And we are thrilled.  We  left eight years ago and much has happened and changed over that time, but many things are unchanged.  New things will happen as we serve together, and we look forward to sharing all of them with you!