Greetings church family. I am excited to be your new pastor at First UMC of Sun City. Though I have a home in Texas, I am not new to Phoenix and the West Valley, having served for forty-three years in the Desert Southwest Conference, five years of which were at Lakeview UMC. Additionally, I served in other capacities as a Conference Director of Programming, the West District Superintendent (my office was in your church complex), and Executive Director of New Church Starts for the United Methodist church in Nashville.
I was born and raised in the central part of Michigan and am the oldest of seven children. I enjoy sports of almost any type. My wife, Charly, and I have been married now for close to 30 years and share six children and sixteen grandchildren. These are certainly challenging times for us all as our country wrestles with two pandemics: one of civil unrest and injustice and the other the deadly Coronavirus. To be sure, we are faced with confusing and conflicting news that affect our daily living in both these matters. As for this church and our church life together, you should know that I am here to serve you and join you as we limit our outside exposure to others, wash our hands frequently, practice social distancing, and pray unceasingly for our world to heal through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Two of my favorite words, that are repeated over and over again in the bible, are “fear not.” To be sure, fear is not always bad. It keeps us from hurting ourselves such as fearing a hot stove or keeping us from getting too close to a high cliff. However, when fear paralyses us, and keeps us from moving forward, that fear is not useful. I am inviting you to join with me to “fear not” and to pray for the world to become a well and more loving place.