Rounding the Corner and Racing for Home!

Caden Allen Parker (1 yr)         Keegan Ember Rose Vick (1 mo)
“…the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the course, I have kept the faith…”
2 Timothy 4:6b-7 NASB
Dear OHFUMC Family,

Cara and I have been in the fulltime ministry for 33 years. After running far and hard, we are declaring our final stretch this year and will be sprinting for the finish line. There are two significant reasons (pictured above) that led us to consider our future more carefully and prayerfully. On March 6th , I sent an email to Bishop Cedric Bridgeforth and D.S. Mark Galang (along with our Church Council and SPPR) indicating my desire to retire from the appointed ministry on July 1, 2024. I followed this up with an all-church email to our congregation. This is the updated version. This Sunday, during our announcements, we will have more information about the succession process live from our SPPR Chair, Nancy Kenyon.

Most people knew (or assumed) I was planning on transitioning on that date into the new Global Methodist Church (GMC). After a more careful and prayerful time of reflection and analysis, we decided this was actually an opportune time to engage our lives as “Grandparents,” as the best course of action for our family connections. Truthfully, this will allow us to move much closer to our children and grandchildren (Desert Southwest).

I still feel like I have “songs and sermons” in my soul to share, but we will find new ways of being in ministry as we take up our new names (“Grandpa and Grandma”), embrace bottles and bibs, and retrace the journey of coddling crying babies! Precious and short are these years.

I am profoundly grateful for my 33-year journey-to-date in full time appointed ministry in the UMC. I am a better human being, pastor, Christ follower, and Kingdom theologian because of my journey in this PNW Annual Conference. I am excited with new energy to help the OHFUMC church family ramp up over the remaining eleven months to prepare for our next chapter. I pledge to work closely and constructively with both the local congregation and our Episcopal and District offices to ensure a seamless and life-giving transition for the one who will succeed me.

This is a window of opportunity we have to help restructure, restaff, and restart our church for a whole new day of vital ministry. There are so many projects I want to see finished and many lives to engage as we look to our next chapter. I believe this will be a fantastic year we will share together as we practice the only way disciples are called to live:
“Expressing gratitude for the past, and hope for the future!”
May Heaven’s favor be upon us all!

David :)

PS – Don’t say goodbye to us just yet! There are miles to go before sunset!

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