Pastor’s Page

Mike’s Retirement Reflections


Over the years I have visited plenty of churches.  It’s always fascinating to be given a tour of the church and see how other churches do ministry.  In one of those churches, I saw a sign hanging on the door of one of the Sunday School rooms.  It was verse 51 of 1 Corinthians 15, Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.  I thought it was an odd verse to have on the door of a room for children because it is from Paul’s discussion about what happens at the end of life.  Then, I noticed the sign above the door.  It was the nursery. Change is a natural part of the daily routine of caring for an infant in diapers.  Unfortunately, dealing with change is not our strong suit as adults.  We like the way things are; we don’t like when things change.  In fact, often we react to change in a way that isn’t very complimentary. Throughout my 15 years here at DUMC, though, you as a congregation have done very well at making the necessary adjustments when changes have been made.  One of the most recent changes has been happening over a period of months.  It is so exciting to see how much has been accomplished in the building process and to visualize how future worship and ministry will happen in this new structure.

That said, the next phase of work will begin to directly impact how we do our current worship and ministry.  As a result, some major changes will happen.  Interior work will require that we not use the sanctuary from May 28 – August 4.  All worship services will move to Overholt Hall and there will be no 11 am service.  We will also shut down the church lobby area, including the office, the work room and room 2.  (The details about these changes will be in the weekly Compass each week, keep a look out.)

The other major change is something we’ve been talking about all year.  Because of my retirement, June 16th will be my last Sunday as your senior pastor.  And, Pastor Sunil will be your new senior pastor starting July 1.  The transition has already begun.  Sunil and his wife have been to worship; he has attended a staff meeting; and he has been part of a strategic planning meeting.  My books are being sorted; my files are being purged; and the rest of the staff is preparing themselves to provide leadership and pastoral care for the two week period after I have left and before Sunil arrives.  This can be one of the most difficult changes for the church to deal with as well as for me as the pastor.  I am confident that together we will make this go smoothly.  People have already been so supportive and encouraging.  Let us prayerfully continue to focus forward so that the ministry of DUMC will continue to be healthy and grow even stronger!

Pastor Mike