As one of our hymns says, "This is a day of new beginnings", both for Zachary United Methodist Church and for the Willis Family. I want you to know that we come to this time of new beginnings with great enthusiasm and excitement! I believe that God has had a hand in bringing us together and has a great ministry for us to do together. I am truly looking forward to getting to know each of you and joining you in your ministry here.
I want to express how grateful we are for the way that you have made me, Marie and Michelle feel at home here in Zachary. One of the things that we have experienced over the years of itinerating from church to church is that among the people called United Methodists there is always a ready made family awaiting us. And indeed, we have experienced this sense of family among you. We are appreciative of all that has been done to welcome us and for the many acts of kindness. It is evident that the Spirit of Christ abides among you.
A change in pastors always brings about a certain amount of anxiety, both for the church and for the pastor's family, but it gives me great comfort and hope to see how you have loved and supported your former pastors and their families. I give thanks for their faithful ministries, especially for Greg and Cynthia, whose foundation of ministry we are privileged to stand upon. Seeing how you accepted, loved and supported them, knowing that none of us are perfect, I know that you have the heart and capacity to love us, too.
As we adjust and try to get settled into our new home and surroundings, we are counting on your grace and patience. Know that we welcome opportunities to get to know you and for you to know us better, so invitations and visits are encouraged. It is my prayer that God will bless our new beginning in ministry together. I give thanks that God has brought us together, and I look forward to what God has in store for us to do in the years ahead.