How I ended up at Georgetown First
How I ended up at Georgetown First by Pastor Jeremy
Several months before Pastor Greg and the Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC), showed my “Introduction Video” in the Sanctuary and all over Facebook, I entered into a time filled with uncertainty and certainty. I was approaching the end of a very long seminary path. I was in the middle of getting licensed in the United Methodist Church. I sensed God’s nudging that it was time for a change in the focus of my ministry. While I was certain of all of these things, I was completely uncertain as to where that would lead me and what it would look like.
I had been in Youth Ministry full-time for ten years. I had a great job, at a great church. I was comfortable. But God was calling me out of that comfortability into the unknown. When I told Michelle that I thought God was telling me it was time to change it up and that would mean leaving my job, she was immediately supportive.
Being Licensed in the United Methodist Church is similar to being ordained. I am able to function like an Elder in the location to which I am appointed. I am given what is called “sacramental rights” (permission to baptize and consecrate communion elements). One of the biggest differences is that there is no guarantee from the conference that I will have a job. So when I turned in my resignation at my church in Lexington and everyone asked, “What are you moving on to?” My answer was “I have no idea”. To add more uncertainty to the mix, around this time we were overjoyed to learn we had another child on the way (great time to quit your job right?).
One way to get an appointment as a Licensed Pastor is to ask the District Superintendents if there is something available. A few opportunities came up, but nothing that was a real possibility. I had limited my availability to “somewhere near Lexington”. My wife, Michelle, is a veterinarian and it is very important to me that she be able to continue her career and not have to move all over Kentucky. While the DSs were working on finding me something, I went ahead and sent a letter and resume to every larger UM church in the area that has an Associate Pastor role in hopes that one of them might have something opening up. Most responses I got simply said, “Thank you for reaching out, but we have no positions available at this time.”
Then I got a voicemail from Pastor Greg asking if I could have lunch with him. From the moment Pastor Greg and I sat together, it was clear to me that God had ordained our meeting. The uncertain was starting to become more clear. As we continued to get to know each other, I also met with a few members of the SPRC, and later the whole team. Each step along the way, I was more convinced that God has been preparing me to be your Associate Pastor.
As I write this, I am just over a month into the job. I have preached three times, been to 3 Sunday School classes (I want to visit all of them soon), helped out with part of VBS, been hit with paint-balls by youth, visited several people’s homes, had dinner with 2 Christian Journey groups, visited four different assisted living facilities and learned and forgotten countless names. We are only beginning to get to know each other. As I reflect on the past month and the months of uncertainty that preceded it, I am so thankful for a God that nudges. I am thankful for a God that pushes us into the unknown. There are still uncertainties. We don’t know exactly what God has in store for Georgetown First next. But we can be certain that he is with us and he is for us. Come Holy Spirit, Come!