Pastor’s Message – May 7, 2019

Giving Thanks For AnnaBeth

Nearly two years ago, the Staff-Parish Relations Committee took a leap of faith in the hiring of a full-time Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries. And oh the rewards we have reaped! We were so blessed to have an applicant as qualified as AnnaBeth Harrison practically dropped in our laps.
There is no doubt that the hand of God was in the process: blessing our church, our youth program, and our children’s ministries.

When AnnaBeth arrived, we had an average of five or six students at United Methodist Youth Fellowship. We have had 20+ students at several functions lately. And have you visited with one of our youth? They are leading Bible studies and continue to grow under AnnaBeth’s (and Oliver’s) leadership, in addition to the other adults now involved. These students are the future of First UMC, and we can all be proud of the ministries we now have in place.

Has AnnaBeth ever asked you to do something? We find it nearly impossible to refuse when we see all she is doing. But every single time, we walk away knowing we were the ones receiving the blessing.

We knew when AnnaBeth joined the staff of FUMC that she and Oliver would only be in our area for a couple of years, and that time has flown by. Oliver has already moved to his new job at Duke Air Force Base in Florida, and AnnaBeth will join him permanently on May 23.

Her last Sunday with us will be May 19, and we welcome you to show your appreciation to her in whatever way the Holy Spirit leads you before she leaves. We thought it appropriate for the youth and children to honor her with special events, but the gifts don’t have to stop there. Please feel free to reach out to her as the Lord directs you.

At the luncheon for our high school seniors, AnnaBeth had assembled a slideshow that concluded with this verse: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

Go forth in God’s strength and courage, AnnaBeth and Oliver, and we wish you many blessings wherever you go.

Robin McCormick                                               Rev. Darian Duckworth                                                                                                     Chair of Staff-Parish Relations                        Pastor

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