This is the season for change in much of our society
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about change and transition. This is the season for it in much of our society. May is the month for college graduations. June sees high school graduations and is a traditional time for weddings. In the United Methodist Church, June 30 is traditionally the date clergy appointments change and there is a bit of that going on in our area this year. I, personally, am completing my time as pastor of the UMC of Fonda-Fultonville and Salem UMC and the pastor in Amsterdam is moving.
I keep reminding myself that change is part of life. God didn’t create a stagnant, changeless world but one in constant change. As our seasons change, our surroundings change, plants and animals experience change and so do we – every day of our lives.
In my experience most of the change is good or neutral. I am very fortunate. But there have been things that weren’t good. Things that have been very hard and seemed to have taken forever. During those times I’ve realized that God’s faithfulness was not changing. No matter what turns my life has taken, I have been able to turn to God in my prayers and feel loved. Sometimes that is the only love I have felt. It was enough to get me through.
Three years ago, when I first made the decision to retire the timing was based partly on an understanding that changes were needed and I didn’t want to be the person to make them. When the decision was made for me to continue on a couple more years, I realized that if I really believed changes were needed I better get on with making them. So, I accepted my own challenge to myself, learned new skills, and implemented change. Today I am happy about those changes and what has gone into making them. Surely God was with me to make that be so.
This year retirement is going to happen for me. The closer it gets, the more nervous and sad I become. My time in this area has been good time. I have been blessed with the acceptance of loving congregations and opportunities for personal as well as communal growth. Many times I have felt God’s presence in the processes and decisions. As I head forward I anticipate that although life will suddenly be very different for me, God will continue to be with me.
May all who read this message also experiences God’s presence and love in the changes in their own lives. God bless you all.
The Rev. Nancy Pullen is the former pastor of the Fonda-Fultonville United Methodist Church and the Salem United Methodist Church.