As many of you know, on July 1, the Fishkill UMC joined the Wiccopee Community UMC to form a full-time clergy position.  Along with the many opportunities comes some anxiety.

The first anxiety is that the Fishkill church will lose pastoral care with the move to a ¾ time appointment.  Let me assure you this will not happen.  The ways that pastoral care is done might undergo some changes, but I will still lead worship, visit in the hospital (provided that you tell me you are hospitalized!), visit in homes and care centers, conduct funerals, attend meetings, and administer the business of the church.  There is already a good network of people who take Holy Communion to some of our home-bound members, and this is just one example of how the members of our church can expand and grow how we care for one another.

There is also anxiety about our worship time moving from 9:30 to 10:00 am.  With the Wiccopee church meeting at 9:00, I will simply leave their worship a few minutes early to drive to Fishkill.  One of our many capable lay people will begin the worship with the welcome and announcements.  My guess is that I will be at the church by the opening hymn.  While I will miss having the chance to talk with people before worship begins, as I have done the last three years, I will have a chance to talk with people during the fellowship time after worship.

I believe that the opportunities this change brings far outweigh the anxieties.  It is a chance to meet new people and form new relationships, or to re-connect with people we have met before.  We can eat together, worship together, do ministries together.  Our two churches already reach our communities in numerous ways.  The impact that we can have together is limited only by our imaginations!

One thing I know will not change: God will continue to work in and through the Wiccopee and Fishkill churches.  Amazing things are happening.  Amazing things will continue to happen.  Thanks be to God!