To the faithful of Wyoming UMC, grace and peace to you.
I am a United Methodist pastor who retired two years ago after 34 years of pastoral ministry. I am a native Minnesotan, who grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie. I attended Union Theological Seminary in NYC where I met my wife, Donna Buell, who is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA. The last 25 years of our ministry we served together as the co-pastors of the Methodist Churches in Redwood Falls, Northfield, and Stillwater. We are still living in Stillwater, and we worship regularly at the White Bear Lake UMC and the Grace Trinity Church in South Minneapolis.
We have one son, Nathan, who has lived and worked in China for the past 10 years, and we have been fortunate enough to have visited him three times while he has been there. He currently lives in Beijing where he teaches Social Studies and English in a Korean International School.
When I retired, my district superintendent asked if I would be willing to provide pastoral coverage if there was a need in one of our churches. I shared that Donna and I had been able to take two renewal leaves during our ministry, and that they were a blessing both to us and our congregations. So, I told her, if there was a pastor wanting to take a leave, I would be delighted to help make that possible. I was glad when Holly asked me, and I am looking forward to the seven weeks that I will be with you, though I wish it were under different circumstances. The coronavirus epidemic has made the past few months a difficult and challenging time for all of us, including for our churches. Still, as it was for Donna and I, I do hope that this renewal time for Holly will end up being a blessing both for her and for you as a congregation.
I am grateful to Melanie and Michelle for their help in this time of pastoral transition. As Melanie finishes, I will begin my time with you on Monday, June 22 through Sunday, August 9. During this time, please feel free to contact me with any pastoral needs. My cell phone number and email are 507.581.6586 and firstname.lastname@example.org.