Lame Duck Musings


I’m already hearing persons lovingly referring to me as “lame duck” pastor.  A lame duck is someone who is still in a position but whose successor has already been named.  “Lame” or not, I still have four full months to be your pastor, and I’m excited about the possibilities we have before I try retirement again.  Since I’m hitting 75 this year, it’s time, but I’m already reflecting on how rich this time has been as your pastor at Genesis.


Here are some musings as I think of these coming months:


Lowell United Methodist Church is coordinating clean-up efforts in the Lowell area after recent flooding.  If you are willing to help, please contact Chery (Mulligan) Armstrong at the Lowell church.


Ellen and I had dinner last week with your incoming (July 1) pastor, Tommy Boutell, and his wife Shelly. I’m more convinced than ever that this is a wonderful appointment for Genesis and for Tommy and Shelly.  The fact that he will be full-time (I have been “half-time”) is important for the growth and vitality of our church.


Tommy will be preaching at Genesis Sunday, April 15, at both 9:30 an 11 a.m. It will be a chance for all of you to get a “sneak peek” at your new pastor.  Ellen and I will be in Capetown, South Africa, a trip we have planned for 5 years.


We also plan to have a “passing of the mantle” worship service at Genesis Sunday, June 17, when we will celebrate the transition from my ministry to Tommy’s leadership.  He begins officially July 1.


Thanks to all of you who so graciously honored Sue Capps and Jay Kalis during the last two weeks.  Sue began at Genesis February 25, 2008 as our treasurer and administrative assistant and we’re delighted that she has begun her second decade with us. She’s our longest serving staff person.  Jay began at Genesis in July 2015 as director of children and youth ministries, but his service among us has positively impacted every aspect of our ministry.  He is now actively pursuing the next step in his ministry career, including finishing seminary studies.  Our thanks to members of the Staff-Parish Relations Team for coordinating the celebration of these two valuable staff persons.


We continue to be committed to a strong ministry with children and youth.   Kathy Van Dessel and Patti Emelander are leading the volunteers in children’s ministry, and Susan Worsley and Kim Lang are leading our nursery child care.  Lynn and Tami Weaver will lead our youth ministry.  Volunteers are still needed.  We plan to have a 30 hour fast with the youth this spring, as well as regular youth gatherings on Sunday at 11 a.m.  There will also be a community Vacation Bible School for children the last week of June.


If you need time for meditation and prayer during this Lenten season, consider joining a spiritual retreat at Aldersgate United Methodist Church from 6 p.m. March 16 to 2:30 p.m. March 17, led by Dominican Sister Nancy Brousseau.  Ellen Brubaker is the leader and cordially invites all persons. See me if you are interested.


Holy Week will be here before we know it. Palm/Passion Sunday is March 25.   Maundy Thursday worship and Holy Communion will be at 7 p.m. March 29.  Ellen and I will be leading a Tenebrae worship service on Good Friday March 30 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church (4301 Ambrose near Plainfield Avenue) at 7 p.m. Join us for a meaningful evening worship service of light and darkness.


Easter Sunday we will rejoice at 9:30 and 11 a.m.  A community-wide invitation will be mailed to our church neighborhood, inviting others to join us.  We hope to have an Easter egg hunt for children at 10:30 a.m.


Our 11 a.m. worship service continues each Sunday. However, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, we will have only one worship service at 9:30 a.m.  If you have not tried the 11 a.m. worship service, you will find a smaller group of people, sharing Holy Communion each week, with a bit more meditation and prayer, but engaging music led by Joan Van Dessel and Jonathan Farman.  It’s a refreshing change and a more convenient time for some persons.  Parents of youth find that is convenient for them since the youth group meets at the same time.


A membership class will be held if there is enough interest. Let me know if you would like more information about Genesis and The United Methodist Church.  We also are planning an information session in late April or May about proposed changes in the United Methodist position on homosexuality.


Do we sound busy and alive?  I hope so. I look forward to seeing you during these coming weeks.


Pastor John Ross

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