What a joy it is to be with you here in Sun City! I am looking forward to meeting you all and hearing your stories and about your faith journeys and sharing together in mission and ministry here at First UMC of Sun City, Arizona! Starting at a new church and in a new community fills me with great anticipation for all that God will do in us and through us and with us!
Here is a little bit about myself: I am a California native — born in Hollywood and raised in southern California … I graduated from Occidental College and Fuller Theological Seminary ... Was called into the ordained ministry as a young adult and have served God as a pastor for thirty-eight years ... Served churches in Moorpark, Lompoc, Bishop, Yorba Linda, Big Bear Lake, Wrightwood, Yucaipa and Pomona — and now Sun City, AZ!
I have two wonderful, beautiful and incredibly smart and funny daughters — Amy and Kelsey (I will admit to being a bit biased in their favor). They live in northern Phoenix, AZ – I am so excited that we now live in the same state! I also have a black Labrador Retriever, Strider (we rescued each other).
Some things I love — Love puns (and other forms of humor) ... Love being outdoors (especially with my dog) … Love ice hockey — especially rooting for Los Angeles Kings hockey … and I am an avid reader and enjoy theater, music and movies. In this issue of First Word (and as an insert in the bulletins for July), please let me know what you find is “Special in Sun City” (and the surrounding area). I would really appreciate your input on all the wonderful places and people and things about Sun City.
I also have a confession — I’m not really good with names. Learning your names is a priority for me, and I am so envious of those who are proficient at this. Any assistance you can give me to help me with your names would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
As I write this, I am still in California, packing up my home and office and wrapping up my ministry after three years here. I am not a fan of moving or of saying “good-bye” to people. The whole deal of packing, moving and unpacking drives me crazy! Please keep me in your prayers that all the move details will come together, with my sanity intact.
Change is always a challenge, and transition can be tough — but times of change and transition also bring incredible new opportunities and relationships and possibilities and joy. To close this column, I share with you Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi — which is also my prayer for the church at Sun City: “So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well … Live a lover’s life, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.” (excerpts from Philippians 1, verses 9-11, from The Message.)