Last Sunday was an important day in the life of our denomination. It was Announcement Sunday. Each year, there is one day in May set aside where every congregation around the country learns if they will experience a pastoral change for their church. Last Sunday, it was announced that I will be returning for another year.
I am so grateful to the cabinet and to Bishop Whitaker for appointing me here in July 2009. I came in green, never before serving a church as pastor. I had high expectations, I was excited, and I was hopeful, for how our ministry would develop together here at Druid Hills.
You all treated me and my family with such kindness. You shared with me your wisdom, your history, and stories about your families. Over the years we have grown together, tried new things together, and grieved together. Whatever we have gone through we have tried to do it together. As I have the honor and privilege to stand before you on Sunday mornings and lead worship, I get to look out on your faces. I get the opportunity to be reminded of all those stories we have shared and the relationships we have built. But more important than that, I am reminded of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are present within all of you. I see those gifts of mercy, giving, intersession, hospitality, and encouragement, among others. That gives me great hope for our future.
It is not secret that God has blessed Druid Hills with amazing people. He has scattered those spiritual gifts among all of you and now it is up to us. It is up to us to discover and continue to develop those gifts. It is up to us to use those gifts as we interact with each other and our world. It is up to us to create an atmosphere here at Druid Hills where people feel safe to explore their gifts, comfortable to develop their gifts, and accepted as they gain confidence in using their gifts.
After almost four years, I still have high expectations, I am still excited, and I am still hopeful. We have great things ahead of us. We just need to continue loving each other, supporting each other, and encouraging each other. We need to continue to cultivate an environment and create a culture that is based on love and always practiced in kindness. When we treat each other, and those we encounter, in that way that is when our gifts come out. That is when the Holy Spirit can make some wonderful things happen.
Thank you for the last four years and I look forward to what God will do though us in the future!
Have a great week and I will see you Sunday,