My wife Kim and I are excited to be joining you at Lakeview UMC. As the Apostle Paul writes in his opening words to the church in Ephesus,
“15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[e] toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. “
We have already heard much of the faith and ministry of the people of Lakeview UMC, which makes us eager to join you and share in ministry together. We have recently made the move to Sun City and purchased a home here. We are starting to find our way around the community and look forward to meeting all of you and learning more about your lives, your faith and the good work of the Lakeview church.
Change is rarely easy for any of us. Kim and I find we are sorting each day through boxes of things we have packed. Some days it feels like Christmas, we discover things we forgot we owned and what fun it is to unpack and decide where to put some cherished belongings. Other days we are just tired and miss knowing where everything is in the house. We sometimes miss our normal routines. When Kim asks me where we might find something in our new home I say, “I know exactly where it is-it’s in a box!”
I know this is a time of change for all of us as Pastor John finishes and we begin our ministry with you. I sometimes find that change leaves me sad and grieving as I miss things that I love and value. Other times change leaves me wondering “Will this new experience be enjoyable or not?” I can be skeptical. I have learned over the years in moving as a pastor, in changes that happen to our family or our world, that God works mightily in the midst of all the changes life brings to us. God helps us to find resilience and strength to move forward. God wipes our tears when we are sad. God’s love meets us and embraces us so we can trust that God is present in each step we take, moving through periods of change, helping us to grow through it. As Paul reminds us from his own experience of faith, the immeasurable greatness of God’s power is available to those of us who believe.
I have been a United Methodist Pastor for thirty-five years. I was born here in Phoenix where my father was serving his first church as a pastor, so I grew up with church and faith as a part of my daily life. Kim and I have been married for twenty-three years and we have four children and five grandchildren: Katherine who lives in Houston with her family, Marc who serves in the Air Force and is stationed in Minot, North Dakota, Lindsey who lives with her family in New York City and Andrew who lives with his family in Santa Cruz, CA. We’ve always loved pets, so we bring with us to Sun City our dog Max, a long-hair chihuahua and Ursula, a water turtle (I’m trying to prepare a pond for her in our new yard, a bit of a challenge in our summer heat). We look forward to worshiping and praying with you, getting acquainted and learning about all of you and how we can serve God together.
In faith, Pastor Dave Summers