On June 11, Pat and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. It was a wonderful celebration of two very special years of my life. And as we celebrated together, I reflected on the numerous changes that have taken place in my personal life since I have been your pastor at Green Tree.
I came here single and I am now married. I came here “homeless” and Pat and I now have the privilege of living in our own home. Shortly after I arrived here, I had my first book accepted for publication by Herald Press and subsequently I have published two additional books with Brethren Press. I even have experienced positive changes in my golf game.
We also have experienced changes here in the church. The men and women’s bathrooms were renovated. Our steeple which blew off the roof during a thunder storm was replaced. A media system was installed in the sanctuary which has brought about sound and visual changes that have enhanced our worship services. A new phone system was installed. We dedicated the Peace and Memorial Rose garden. And as the garden changes and grows, we enjoy its beauty. We now have a playground just east of the pavilion. The Green Team has passed out thousands of loaves of bread to the surrounding community in downtown Phoenixville, The Upper Providence Community Days, and at our Yard Sale. New carpeting was put down in the library and the primary rooms in the educational wing. An Endowment Fund was established and a new paper recycling bin is now in the front parking lot of the church. We hope to have a digital sign installed within a month or so and the Little Acorns Preschool will open with its first classes this coming fall.
Although the list of the above changes is not complete, it is a fairly long list. Most of us don’t like change. But change is inevitable. So like it or not, we change and we experience change around us. The important thing I have noticed about the above list of changes in my life and here at the church is that we have embraced them together. I can’t say enough about how you as a church have embraced and supported my relationship with Pat. You also have embraced the way I have changed as your pastor in the past seven years and such support allows me to be an effective pastor.
I also have noticed how as a church body we have embraced the changes that have occurred within the church. At the front end of some of these changes there were questions and doubts. But, in the end, many of the changes were given overwhelming support because of the positive way we went about exploring and implementing the change. What I am trying to say is that it is a joy to be a pastor of a church where many of you are team players. It is not necessarily about you or me but it is about what is best for the church. And when we work together as a team, our personal interests may be a factor but the overall interests of the church are of primary concern.
I will continue to go through changes as your pastor. And as a church, Green Tree will continue to change. The important question is how will we embrace and support such changes. However we do it, let’s do it together.