It was a year ago that the announcement was made that Kim and I would be leaving Marco Island and moving here to Bonita Springs to serve as your pastoral family. At the time, both this church and Kim and I were facing difficulties, frustration, and uncertainty. First UMC Bonita was looking at diminished attendance, giving, and volunteerism. Kim and I were considering whether we wanted to continue in ministry.
This year, we are still facing difficulties, frustration, and uncertainty – but it feels different! I feel as if I have a church family behind me that wants for me to succeed, and is willing to work with me. Our church is still paying attention to our financial future, but we are seeing more people volunteering and showing up! People are starting to dream again, to wonder again, to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and expect Him to speak!
What makes the difference? Hope. Love. Trust. Trust that God is still at work in us and through us, and that there is a future that God can use to draw people to Himself.
I want to thank you for the past year, for the healing that it has brought to me and to you. We find that, when we give of ourselves humbly to others, we find the healing that we need. By my serving you and you serving me, God has been able to start healing us all!
During Pastor Appreciation Month many of you sent cards, notes, and gifts to Kim and myself, thanking us for our service. I have been trying to write “Thank You” notes to everybody, but if I missed you, please forgive me! Some gifts came to the office; some came to our home; some of you handed me cards at church! I have tried to keep track of them all, and so if you have not received a thank you from me yet, THANK YOU FOR LOVING US!!!
I am looking forward to the future – for the ways that God is going to use us to spread His hope and healing upon this community. Through our worship, through our service, through our small groups and our dedication to prayer and reading God’s Word, through our giving – God is making a difference!
- Rev. Bill