Many of you heard the announcement last week about JP being reassigned to another church. We, the members of your Church Council, were surprised by that news, and experienced the same range of emotions that many of you experienced. We were not the only congregation to receive this kind of news last week, so please pray for all of the churches that are facing pastoral reassignments.
This week, the Council met on Tuesday to prepare to meet with the District Superintendent on Thursday. We feel, like you that this is moving fast, but once the conference starts pastoral reassignments, it’s a domino effect with much to address at many churches. During the Thursday meeting, the District Superintendent prepared a profile of Bethany – our strengths and weaknesses, wants and needs. This was prayed over by the Bishop and Cabinet overnight, a pastor was selected by conference call Friday morning, and the Bishop approved the selection.
Yesterday (Saturday March 23), we were introduced to our new pastor by the District Superintendent. (It was not an interview.) He is Pastor Dennis McCleary (“P.D.” or “Pastor Dennis”). He is married to Jean, has a grown son and 5 year old grandson, has a long pastorate near Delta, PA, and already knows a few folks at Bethany.
The District Superintendent said that Pastor Dennis is “a man of humility who leads by spiritual example” and “a man of the Holy Spirit who loves EVERYONE!” When asked about his spiritual strengths, P.D. listed: compassion, teaching, and willingness to take God’s path (going where God leads him).
We enjoyed our time with the McClearys yesterday. JP and the Council will be helping P.D. with the transition between now and when his service begins in July. Please be aware that we will be paying tribute to JP before that time, so please pay attention to special announcements in bulletins and newsletters.
Bethany Church is recognized for hospitality and loving people. The best thing that we can do to support and honor the Bohanans and the McClearys and to honor God is to continue loving, welcoming, and serving, and to continue our important mission “to honor God by making more disciples for Jesus Christ.”