On Memorial Day I was walking down the beautiful main street of Simsbury reflecting on the past 12 months, and I found it very hard to believe that we’re wrapping up our first year together. It’s interesting to think that while nearly 365 days have elapsed since Erin, Isaac, Amelia, and I moved into the parsonage, it feels to me like we’ve been a part of the community for much longer. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined a better year, and I want you all to know that it has been without a doubt the best year of ministry I’ve ever had; you all have played a huge part in that. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this community, and while I’m fairly sure we could ride that love fest for a while longer I’d like to turn our attention to the new year that starts July 1.

Probably the biggest change SUM will experience in the new year is welcoming Deb Clifford on board as our resident deacon. This represents a huge accomplishment for Deb, and a wonderful opportunity for our church and larger community. While her focus will continue to be on church revitalization, Deb will also be a liaison to the wider community and a huge help to me with some of the jobs that you’ve all come to think of as associate pastor jobs (although to be clear, she is not an associate pastor). We’re both excited about the opportunity to work together, and I hope that you will come to me with any questions you might have about new roles and opportunities moving forward.

Another item that you can look forward to is confirmation class this year. As per our custom at SUM, we took a year off from bringing young people into church following a great class in 2017-2018. I’ll be sending out details soon, but if you’ve got a teen in your life who is looking forward to this opportunity, please drop me a note with their details when you get a chance.

The last item is that the entire staff and I will be gathering over the summer to plan out the coming year from a worship, church school, and youth group perspective. I’ve tried over the last year to listen carefully and honor well the wonderful traditions of this church while instituting some changes and new opportunities. I’d love your feedback on the past year: what you enjoyed, why you enjoyed it, how we might improve it, and if there was something you didn’t care for I’d be open to hearing that as well. 

I’m very excited to see what the coming year has in store for us. I know that God isn’t done with us yet and that our journey is really just getting started. In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful, safe, and fun summer. I look forward to seeing you out and about in the valley.

On the journey,