A June to Remember

Pentecost was the first Sunday in June, celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit, poured out on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension. It is one of the biggest celebrations in the life of the church. Some call it the birthday party for the church. We baptized children and adults and received new members.
I am now taking time for vacation and a required “continuing formation” leave through the rest of the month. I would normally be attending Annual Conference, the yearly meeting of United Methodists in our conference, but our oldest daughter, Kaitlyn, is being married this same weekend. I told our bishop I would rather be at the wedding and she graciously confirmed she would make the same choice! Kaitlyn’s wedding is at Salem on Sunday afternoon, June 11. Those who are worshiping at the 11 AM service that day, will likely be encouraged—pleasantly, I hope!—to leave fairly quickly afterwards so the church can be cleaned and prepared as my family will arrive soon after to begin taking pictures.
During my vacation I will have time to prepare for the wedding and perhaps recover, as well! This time is a blessing for rest, recreation, and being with my family. My wife, Joy, and I are also celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary, so we will be going away for a few days.
The last week of the month, I will spend time on the “continuing formation” that is expected of pastors. I will finish a leadership course and work on our staff reorganization, one of Salem’s goals this year.
I am excited to share that while I’m away in June, Joe Dunnwald and Momodu Kamara will be preaching once more at Salem before they are sent to pastor other churches. Previously, we announced that Joe has been called as the new pastor of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Latimer, Iowa. Joe, Anna, Meg, and Nora will be moving this summer as our congregation sends them into full time ministry. Their last Sunday with us will be July 2.
Now some more big news: I got to announce this past Sunday that Momodu has just been assigned by our district superintendent to pastor the Springdale United Methodist Church, beginning July 1. Momodu was recognized as a Certified Lay Minister last year and has been waiting patiently for an assignment from our our superintendent. We are very excited for Momodu, too!
What a blessing, Salem! We will commission both Joe and Momodu during worship as we send them into ministry to pastor churches. Don’t miss the opportunity to worship with them and hear them preach once more at Salem.
As always, just don’t miss the opportunity to worship. As summer approaches and you’re looking forward to plans you’ve made, vacations, and, in general, summer fun, please remember to continue gathering for worship each week unless you’re sick or gone. It was Jesus’ custom to worship every week. As Christians, we gather every week to worship our God, too, whether that’s with Salem or with brothers and sisters in another congregation.
There are wonderful things happening in my family’s life, in Salem’s life, and in the church. This certainly will be a June to remember.

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