A year ago today, we did not take the girls trick-or-treating. In fact they did not even wear costumes. By the time many people were taking kids house to house in search of candy we were driving back to Fayetteville, N.C. from Madison Heights, V.A. I had preached a trial sermon that morning at Madison Heights Baptist Church. They voted to extend a call to me to be their pastor, and I had accepted. We had celebrated at lunch with the Pastor Search Committee. It had been a busy and exciting whirlwind of a day
A few days before our trip to V.A., a ministry friend who knew of my upcoming trip to Madison Heights, joked about my plans to offer a trial sermon on Halloween. He asked what I would dress up as. I said “I plan on dressing up as their new preacher!”
I am glad that I was in fact, dressed as their new preacher one year ago. A lot can change in a year. We spent November and most of December preaparing to move and saying good bye to friends and parishoners. We moved on December 20th and I led worship here in Madison Heights on Christmas Eve.
In these past ten months, we have settled into a place that feels like home, made friends, and bought our first house. Ministry with this congregation and staff is energizing. Kim and I continue to follow through on a committment to be healthier physically, mentally, and spiritually. This morning, I have made pastoral care calls. Later, I will talk with a widow who lost her husband last night. She is also my neighbor, and together, we will plan a memorial service to remember her husband and worship God. Hopefully later today, I will be able to see the newborn baby of a couple who are parishoners and have become close friends. Tonight, we will eat pizza with friends, and then take our children trick-or-treating.
A lot can change in a year. Tonight, I am dressing up as Batman.