Message from the Pastor-The Next Step on the Path

The word Pastor on a page

The first time I visited Northfield United Methodist Church was back in 2013 when I was a student at Carleton College. A few guys on campus decided to have a retreat and NUMC opened its doors to us. We stayed overnight Saturday and attended worship the following morning. We went to the contemporary service, yes, that long ago. I remember the warmth of the congregation and the way you all made space for college students who had just spent the night playing mafia throughout the church. I remember the curiosity and care you all displayed. That was my first and only visit to NUMC. Who knew I would return to Northfield to find another home and wonderful friends almost ten years later?

My favorite verse I inherited from my grandmother is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge God and God will make straight your paths.” This verse implies that our own insight gets it wrong sometimes, that we don’t always see things clearly and may take the wrong paths. It is in acknowledging God that God makes our paths straight. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Trust involves vulnerability, handing over control, taking steps when you can’t see the big picture, leaving family and friends in North Carolina to return to Minnesota.

With every big decision I’ve made, I have learned to trust God. I place it all in God’s hand. My life is God’s, and the gifts God has given me are ones to steward and use wherever God may call me. God called me here and led my path to you. I am eternally grateful to God for trusting me and that you trusted me to “do good” in this area of God’s vineyard. I have learned so much from you and especially our youth. It has been a blessing to witness a church called to their community and actively partner with God to slowly reflect Heaven.

As stated, my decision to move on was not made lightly. I had to place a lot of trust in God and trust this is the next step for me. After a lot of confirmation, prayer, and much discernment, I can say this move is the next step on the path. I pray we all have the courage to trust God with big moves, big dreams and hopes for our futures. Whatever paths we may be on, God blesses it and blesses you to walk the paths.

Church, I will miss you. Most of all, I will miss my youth. Wednesday nights with them were the best. I’m thankful for their parents trusting me to shepherd them. Thank you all for your love, hospitality, generosity, and listening to me whenever I had those difficult texts to preach. This is not “good-bye,” but a “see-ya later.” Please let me know when you’re visiting and taking your kids or grandkids to Disney World. Disney will be in my backyard. I would be happy to see you.

On the Path,