posted Jun 13, 2011, 8:34 AM by David Smith
Another year gone by....Last Sunday marked my last official Sunday of last year's appointment. I preached my final sermon for Perry UMC for the 2010-2011 appointment year. For those who are not familiar with our system, United Methodist pastors are appointed for a 1 year term at Annual Conference each year. The Sunday following Annual Conference is the last Sunday in the pulpit for the outgoing pastor, and the 2nd Sunday after AC is the first Sunday in the new appointment.

Sometimes our appointment is renewed at the same church....sometimes we are required to move to a new church...a new appointment, depending on the needs of the church. I have been fortunate in being reappointed to Perry UMC every year since being first appointed here in June of 2003. I believe we as a congregation have changed quite a bit in those 8 years...all for the better. It hasn't always been easy. We have had disagreements over changes made in decor and worship experiences. We have had struggles financially. We have lost leadership and gained leadership. We have lost in attendance... and now we are gaining in attendance and in our finances. But we always tried to keep God first and follow His direction. In the past 8 years, our main growth...our main gain...in my opinion is that we are now reaching out to our community and to our neighbors in a way we have never done before. We are more open and welcoming that we have ever been, and we are becoming...we're not there yet...but we are becoming what we should be; the hands, feet, arms and legs of Jesus Christ in our community.

Once again, I will be preaching a new sermon, in a familiar pulpit, as we begin the new conference year. I am so very fortunate to have been reappointed to a great congregation....one that Liz and I love dearly... Perry United Methodist Church. I look forward to our continued growth and experience in reaching out and assisting in the building of the Kingdom of God right here in Perry, USA. As I preach my first sermon of my new appointment, based on Jeremiah 31: 27-34 and also the prayer of Jeremiah found in 32: 17-20, I pray that you will recommit yourselves and your time, talents, gifts and graces to the work of Jesus Christ here in Perry.

Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday....