Monday, September 29, 2014

I Hate Goodbyes

Before my last sermon as the pastor of Catawba UMC I showed this clip to lighten the mood.  I think it helped.  I will never forget my time as the pastor of this amazing group of people.  A few memories:

- My first Sunday I shook hands with James Lowrance and said "Hi, I'm Rich" he said "I'm poor."  Turns out he thought I was a member of the youth group.

- Mikayla and Bayley's first time hearing an organ...they were so surprised by the sound.

- Holding the hands of Mikayla and Bayley as they danced to some of the faster songs...Mikayla stopped doing this within the first year...I think it took Bayley about two years.

- Forgetting the water for Hayden's Baptism...thank you to the Brackett's for laughing with me about it instead of being mad!

- The Santa Clause situation (I know it wasn't a fun time in the life of the church, but it was an important time that I will always remember).  I know I could've handled it with a lot more maturity and often wish I could go back and do it over.  I would still make the same decision but I would have handled it with wisdom and carefulness.

- The CCC trips.  These mission trips were tremendous times of growth in my own faith and I'm thankful for the church supporting such an amazing ministry.

- The hiking, sunshine club, youth and superstars trips.  Such great times of fun and fellowship.

- Ronnie taking me skeet shooting and target shooting.  I think I used about 10 different guns.  So fun and I want to do it again!

- The phone calls to Phillip about something wrong with the parsonage or one of our cars and his willingness to always help.

- The overall grace, generosity and love that me and my family received by the people of this church...thank you doesn't quite do our gratitude justice.

Since I hate goodbyes...I will just say "until next time."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Joel Osteen

I don't want to be too harsh...because I think his heart is in the right place and I'm sure I've made similar mistakes in my messages...but for him to post this in writing without knowing the chronology of the OT and without taking the time to research it is pretty ridiculous for someone as well known and respected as Joel Osteen:

Be more careful next time Joel!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


This song has become so meaningful to me with the new adventure ahead with Covenant Community Church.  This transition has created mixed emotions of joy, worry, excitement, fear, anticipation, nervousness, hope and a great sense of appreciation.  I have also found a new reliance on God for guidance and wisdom.  I definitely feel this is a calling "upon the waters" where at times I will be in over my head...I also know that God will not fail me!

And this is by far the best version of the song...enjoy:

Monday, September 1, 2014


We will be needing one of these soon:

I made the announcement at church this past Sunday.  We are moving to Asheville to begin ministry at Covenant Community Church:

The transition began this year at Annual Conference in June when I heard that Covenant had become available.  The pastor appointed there had decided to leave the denomination.  I expressed interest in being the pastor of the church and on the evening of Monday August 18th I received the phone call that I had been chosen to be the pastor.  My District Superintendent's first words were "are you sure you want to live in the mountains?"

I believe with everything in me that God orchestrated this move.  There are several reasons I say this.

-Chrys (my wife) is a vegetarian, buys organic most of the time and is into supporting fairly traded products. She has always wanted to live in Asheville and will have easy access to all of those items.

-About two months ago we discovered that she was losing her part-time job in Rock Hill, SC which meant that would no longer be a factor in an appointment for me.  Even with her connections and credentials she has not been able to find something similar.

-She has always wanted to be a stay at home mom and she will be able to do that in Asheville (she may still take some sort of very part time work but we will see).

-I met the District Superintendent of the Blue Ridge District where Covenant is located at a Duke Rural Convocation Conference at Myrtle Beach in early August.  We had never met and had the opportunity to hang out several times together.  He was the only DS from our conference present at this event.

-My parents have been keeping my daughters since they were born once a week for us.  My mom said before I even told her about the possibility of  a move that she had a feeling they wouldn't be keeping the girls much longer.

-Whether it was just psychological or God revealing somehting to me, I had two dreams before I was told about the appointment that we lived in Asheville and I was the pastor at Covenant.

While I am excited about the opportunity, I will miss the people of Catawba UMC.  This church has been a wonderful appointment and there is so much I will miss about being here.  I will save the details of what I will miss for the last article I write for the newsletter.

Good things are ahead for Catawba and for Covenant!