Monday, June 25, 2007

Our First Sunday at Bethlehem

Well, Matt's survived his first week as a Senior Pastor! VBS was last week, so he drove up to Clarksville every morning (we aren't moving til this coming Saturday) to participate in that and to get to know the children as well as the youth and adults helping to make "Lift Off--Soaring to New Heights with God" (the Cokesbury VBS this year) a big success. All this commuting was complicated by the fact that by the end of the week, we were down a car in the Kelley household: someone ran a red light and slammed into our car Wednesday night! I saw that this big red SUV wasn't stopping and alerted Matt, who floored it and swerved enough that she hit the rear door of Matt's Saturn ION, rather than the driver's door. The impact crushed the door and spun us up onto the sidewalk, where our passenger-side rear tire burst and the hubcap dug into the dirt like a meteor, spewing dirt over 15 feet! It was pretty scary, but we are fine, and the car isn't quite totalled, so we'll get it fixed within a few weeks, I guess.

Yesterday, we drove up to Clarksville (delayed a bit because Matt couldn't get his sermon to print--and he ended up just making some notes by hand and preaching from them) and enjoyed Bethlehem's weekly pre-Sunday School breakfast. I attended the younger of Bethlehem's two adult Sunday School classes while Matt both tended the one baby in the nursery and went over his sermon notes. Worship went well, though Matt accidentally skipped the prayer time and had to backtrack! People were amused and all was fine. Matt preached on Isaiah 43--"Behold, I am doing a new thing." The people at Bethlehem had told us they were ready and willing to grow, and even have some extra land that was given to the church, on which they might end up building a new facility! I think exciting things are in the future for this historic and wonderful congregation!

We have a lot of new names to learn and family trees to remember, but this looks to be an exciting new era in Matt's ministry career and in our life as a couple. Though I'm still wary about having to commute an hour each way to work, I'm definitely excited about moving into the parsonage and getting all set up there. We'll post pictures once we get settled!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The End of an Era

Jessica and I said goodbye to the folks at Crievewood this past Sunday. It was bittersweet because while we are excited about going to Bethlehem Church, we will miss everyone at Crievewood. Still, a pastor doesn't always have the luxury of going out while (almost) everyone still likes them, so we greatly value the time we have had there and the opportunity to go out on top.

Our last Sunday was especially meaningful because it was also confirmation Sunday. Jessica got to be Allie Cate's mentor, and she and Allie found the experience to be very meaningful. Allie couldn't have picked a better mentor and role model!

Here are a few pics:
Allie and Jessica
Serving Communion
During the farewell liturgy

At the reception
We have two Sundays in between churches, so we're taking the opportunity to attend services together as ordinary people, rather than as pastor and spouse. Our first Sunday at Bethlehem is June 24! Pictures and stories will follow.


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