In this, my final pastoral article for Mountain View, I wish to set the stage for a healthy transition for your new pastor, Rev. Stephanie Kidwell. You will love and respect her for her grace, intelligence and ability
Transitions are a difficult and necessary part of life, and we are all up to the challenge! Beth and I are very busy setting up our new home in Dacono and preparing to launch into ministry at First UMC, Fort Lupton. In this season of farewells, many of you have shared your “well-wishes.” Our time together has been challenging, meaningful, and fruitful. We may feel sad at our separation, but we cry because we have been engaged in ministry together and we have meant something to one another.
From the beginning of the call to ministry my desire has been to be a faithful caregiver, able administrator, and honest preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am now called to bring those gifts to a congregation in one of the fastest growing areas of the Metro. Our reasons for accepting this new appointment have to do with our continued fruitfulness, contentment, and primary goals for our family. After eight truly wonderful and busy years at Mountain View, we are seeking to be more available to our extended family, and to learn to live at a more sustainable pace. As we have tried to do here, my aim will be to “keep the main thing the main thing.” The challenges of our faith, the demands of the Annual Conference, and the struggles of our Denomination will continue for all of us. A mere change of pastors will not resolve such externalities. Still, our commitment to Christ’s Gospel must remain the ultimate guide, as we all move ahead.
What is coming to a close at the end of this month is the pastoral relationship we have shared. We leave the work of ministry at Mountain View in good hands and pick up the work in a new place. In the interest of promoting a healthy church, I will no longer be available to you to do weddings, funerals, etc. If approached, my response will be for you to contact Rev. Stephanie for all such pastoral requests. This is for the health and well-being of our connection and the strength of your relationship with your new pastor. What remains is our true friendships, loving relationships and the memories we share, having engaged in fruitful ministry in Jesus’ name.
Shortly after we arrived at Mountain View, I was asked what my monthly Messenger column would be called. I came upon the idea that whatever was to happen we would need to listen for God’s call, and follow wherever the Lord led us. It has been quite an adventure! Conflicts and blessings, prayer and hard decisions, tearful goodbyes and joyful discoveries, new people in leadership, and old patterns we have had to unlearn. Remembering God’s constant Grace, we have stepped into the unknown and forged this vital ministry. With Christ’s self-emptying love we have listened closely, heard compassionately, welcomed the outcast, and loved the unlovable. This is work of those who follow Jesus, and I have been privileged to share this work with you. Thank You!
Grace & Peace,
Steve & Beth Warren