Passing the Baton
“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?”
1 Thessalonians 3:9
The people of First United Methodist Church, Gonzales are like a beautiful tapestry full of lively and rich colors, scenes and patterns, all woven together into a single work of art. Dianne and I have been a part of that work for several years now and have learned to appreciate the diverse gifts and perspectives that compose this wonderful congregation. This really is a church composed of a variety of people with a single purpose and that is to build up the work of Christ in this community and to plant the seeds of the grace of God. Building and planning is work you do, not only spiritually but physically. We have enjoyed working beside others to build needed structures for the elderly and plant food for the poor, to move and stock groceries to feed families and go to places of disaster to help, to cook and host meals that bring people together for fellowship or learning. The many hands-on ministries of this church speak of the desire to make an impact for the cause of Christ here in Ascension Parish. I came here in time for a terrible flood, before I could unpack my boxes and I am moving by packing boxes in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. In good times and in bad, this church has shown me the love of Christ and dedication to his work in any situation. Now it is time to “pass the baton” to my successor. I have no doubt in doing so that the work and passion for ministry will continue here. We have been blessed by some new leadership, life and vision in our worship services through music. We have an excellent staff that are fully committed to reaching our young adults, youth and children. We have amazing lay leaders and teachers that work tirelessly to find ways to reach out in new creative ways. So, we shall not stumble in our transfer of pastoral leadership. Dianne and I have been so blessed by you! You have loved and cared for us and Dianne’s mother, Mrs. Vanessa White so well. We cannot thank you enough and leaving this family is very difficult. However, we have heard the call of God to another work and place and could not ignore this. Leaving is not easy but to stay would be untenable. We hope and pray you understand and will extend to your next pastor and their family, the hospitality shown to us- I have a good feeling that you will. Just remember to “keep the main thing, the main thing” as someone has said and that is, “Transforming Lives to Love Like Jesus”! You have the power of Christ and the giDs of the members to do this.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Steve and Dianne