There’s a marvelous song in the musical, “The King and I.” The words of the chorus are, “Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you. Getting to hope you like me, too.” The first few months of a new ministry relationship (church and pastor) are referred to as “the honeymoon.” The reasons for this referral are obvious. Much like newlyweds everything is new, exciting, wonderful, different and everyone loves each other. But, over a period of time, just like for the newlyweds, the honeymoon ends and then the real work, the true work of the relationship begins – finding our way together, in ministry and in service of the Lord. In 2018 the Bishop and the Cabinet of the SC UMC began offering a training program for pastors and SPRC chairs who would be experiencing moves. The month before the move a one day retreat called, “Transitions: Letting Go and Taking Hold” was held for the tri-districts at 4 different locations and times. The “Transitions” retreat offered a process by which the new minister and church could “get to know all about each other and get to like each other,” and begin to forge the bonds of a relationship and foundation for ministry.
It’s time to “get to know each other” and begin this journey of discipleship together.
The heart of the “Transitions” process is a series of group meetings held by host families within our church. These meetings will begin on Thursday, August 15th and be held every Thursday through the first of October. Your host will have contacted you and invited you to your meeting by August 10th. If you haven’t been contacted by then please get in touch with Sara Thompson at thompsons@comporium.net .
The meetings will be very informal and will offer me an opportunity to meet with small groups of 8-10 for an hour and a half and listen as you tell me about Friendship – what you love, what matters the most, your hopes and dreams . Through a few key questions I will begin to develop a portrait of Friendship UMC as the church we are and the church God is calling us to be.  Once all of the meetings are completed I will share that portrait with our Administrative Council. They will help me complete and refine the portrait by telling me what I heard and understood correctly, or, misunderstood. From that portrait, together, we will develop ministry goals for the upcoming year and we will share these goals with our entire Friendship UMC family. At the retreat we were told (the pastors) to listen and not try to provide answers for everything we heard. That’s a difficult job for some of us pastors, myself included, but I believe the strength of this process will lie in our ability to find God’s direction and our answers together. And, along the way may we “get to know all about each other and get to not only like each other, but begin to love each other in Christ Jesus.” In His Love, Karen.