All Church Events Canceled until June 15th due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus
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United Methodist Church
“Brighten the corner where you are…“
Passing the Baton
“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” – Hebrews 12:1-3
The text from Hebrews reminds me that while I am running this race, I do not run it alone. We are in this together.
This month I prepare to pass the baton of leadership of CLUMC to Pastor Terry Knight. In her you will find new paths to run together, as a church loved and led by the Triune God.
I remain connected to you all, my running mates, though my mantel of leadership will end; for you all will be in my cloud of witnesses in my own heart. You all will continue to be the church at CLUMC – as long as you heed the words in Hebrews – “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles…fixing our eyes on Jesus…do not grow weary and lose heart…“
I am leaving at what seems a tumultuous or fearful time in our world. The fact is, there may always be another crisis or time that feels as though the world is ending. But the world is not ending. It is changing, struggling. We may be wandering the desert at times, but John Wesley on his death bed said “best of all is. God is with us” because even in the face of death, he understood that we have not been abandoned and we have a reason to sing, to worship and to be full of joy. Do not lose heart. You all, collectively and individually, have loved my family so well and so fully. You have so much love to give to your new pastor and your world. Keep that attitude of perseverance and hope for love – that grit and resilience I have seen over and over.
Jeff and I will miss you so much. We have, many times, been overwhelmed and humbled by your love for us. You have given us room to grow and change and in my humble opinion, we have become better for knowing you all and woking side by side these many years.
Jeff misses the growing Youth group. He has always seen promise in the church’s Youth and hopes that it will continue to grow an create new traditions and memories in the years to come. He misses playing guitar and singing for the church; and he misses the physical embrace of the church, as well as the delicious potlucks.
I would like you to know that William loves you guys, and I am a little sad that we will not be seeing him grow up at CLUMC, or the girls. Seeing him light up and run to some of you has been one of the great joys of my time here. He is starting to pray with us now and he is speaking in full, bossy sentences. He asks when we are going to church and I realize that taking the vow to raise the children in the model of Christ is something you all take seriously, and I love you for it. You will remain very dear to us and we leave a small piece of our heart behind with you all, so be kind to it. I simply cannot express with any true eloquence what the last five years have meant to us but suffice to say that we know how fortunate we are.
I will miss the hugs, the singing, the phone calls and loving advice and questions. I will always be your Sister in Christ.
I am excited for all the things you will do together going forward. We will be distancing ourselves from the church starting July 1 so that you can properly transition and to give Terry Knight room to make her ministry with you her own. Know that I will continue to pray for you all and continue to think of each of you. I will not be moving to a cave – we will remain in our Plant City home for the time being while Jeff continues at the Guardian ad Litem office and I wrangle with the girls at home for the nest year.
” I thank my God in all my rememberance of you…” – Philippians 1:3
Peace be with you,
Pastor Katie Sirmons