Starting Aug 1, 2018

Pastor Dirk Wooten

Farewell from Pastor Dirk - 06/16/2019

Sisters and Brothers of SAUMC,

This month, with a great mixture of emotions, I write to you one last time to say, “goodbye and thank you!” As I’ve shared previously, the decision to take a new direction in life has not come easily. But in my short 3+ decades on this earth, I’ve learned that life is rarely predictable. With my last written words to you, I write to share with you the emotions in saying goodbye:

I’m sadden to be leaving the love that I’ve experienced here. You all are givers at heart – with joy and passion in sharing love with those you meet. Brittany and I thank you for this gift you’ve blessed us with.

When I’m really honest with myself, I can say that I’m a bit scared. Making new, big decisions are hard and the fear of the unknown easily creeps in. As I engaged in the discernment process, I recognized my fear, but also found joy in what is to come. If I can be so bold, I invite you all to hear this and ask yourselves about the fear you may have in a new big, decision about the Literacy Center, sit with it for a while, examine it. What makes you scared? Why is that scary? And once you’ve found comfort with this fear (A paradox? Perhaps!), ask yourselves, can you find joy in the great potential that exists?

Recognizing my fear, I’m also excited for what it to come. I’ve missed the water. I’ve missed driving ships. I’ve missed the life at sea. It’ll be an adventure for sure, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. And while I know my excitement has caused some strife for you all, I am grateful for your grace. In the midst of this change, you’ve been caring, giving, and genuinely interested. I pray that these gifts of overwhelming acceptance and of love will be quickly passed on to Pastor Denise as well!

I’m hopeful for the future of this church, and I’m optimistic for the ministries of St. Andrew’s UMC: especially for the possibilities that lie ahead with the REACH Program and Literacy Center. You all have identified a great need within our community, and with a vote (as a reminder, Church Conference is set for June 10th at 6pm), you will soon embark on the next journey in the life of this church!

Lastly, friends, I am prayerful. While my physical presence will soon be a thing of the past, my prayerful presence will remain with you, your ministries, Pastor Denise, and the people of the community. You all have great work ahead of you, and I’m quite certain, with an intentional focus on God’s mission to show the entire world God’s love, it’ll all be successful!

Until we meet again on this side of Heaven or the next…

Blessings, Pastor Dirk

   June 2019   
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