State of The Church Rev. Darlene L. Kelley November 9, 2018
Arriving from New York to work at a new church, I was certainly reminded of the difficulties a move of close to 900 miles may create. However, the folks at The Langley UMC have been so loving, kind and caring that the transition has been much sweeter than expected. People have invited me into their homes, and more importantly into their hearts, and it fills me with gratitude and joy.
I have been impressed by the people of The Langley UMC. They know how to take care of one another. They embody the essence and example of community. They are people of faith, loving God and one another, and translating their love into action. If someone is ill or hurting or facing loss, they can count on their friends and neighbors at Langley. I have truly been impressed with how they care for one another and with the work they are willing to do to help one another, to support their church, and to make the world a little better.
Moreover, they have not been afraid to embrace new worship formats and to literally step out of their comfort zones with new ideas like outside worship and kid-friendly, Waffle Church. We have had lively, engaging worship and social activities, and some new faces and some familiar but missing folk have returned.
Four and a half months is just a short time for a new pastor to get to know a church, but I do know God is working in our church and we are energized and ready for great things ahead. I am looking forward to getting to know this community more and more each day and of working together to spread the Gospel message of love and hope to a broken world.
Some of the highlights we have shared during the last few months:
- A wonderful VBS experience
- A Blessing of the Backpacks—new for your new pastor
- A sweet Veterans’ Dinner that serves veterans in the community at large
- A lovely, outdoor Blessing of the Animals Service
- Kid-friendly, toddler-friendly Waffle Church (last Sunday of every month starting in Sept.)
- A great Homecoming Sunday—also a new experience for the pastor who in the past thought Homecoming was a high school thing
- Pastor’s trip to The Epworth Children’s Home, inspired by past connections and a desire to re-energize youth mission in our church
- A trip with church leaders to Saluda to attend a workshop with Nickerson Coaching
- A fun, candy-filled Trunk or Treat
Though short, I have truly enjoyed my time here, and I’m looking forward to so much more. The State of The Langley UMC is blessed, optimistic and ready to do God’s work in the world—and we are just getting started! Amen!