From the Pastor
Archived - Sunday Worship Services - 2021
December 24, 2020 Christmas Eve
Archived - Sunday Worship Services - 2020
"Hello new friends!
I do hope and pray we can become friends, brothers and sisters. Already from our baptism we were made one in Christ, but I am excited to now be a part of God's family in this corner of the world at Charlton City UMC. To those who have helped make my family and me feel welcome, a huge thank you. We are grateful for the food, flowers, candles, balloons, and most importantly prayers. I know you've been praying because other than painting and decorations, we've already unpacked. I would have gone for a bike ride, as well, to officially settle in if we weren't suddenly getting all the much needed rain over one weekend.
I also hope and pray that despite the interruption of Covid-19 we can still get to know one another as soon as possible. I'm looking forward to meeting all of you, worshiping, praying to, and serving our God together. I'm including a picture of the family with this e-mail that Hannah is graciously sending out for me. A little while ago I sent Garnet a long bio of the family but I know that with not being able to worship in person for some months, you may not have seen it. That whole bio should be attached to this e-mail as well. Apologies if you've already read it!
In the meantime, while I now focus on settling into church life, I wanted to 1) say hi. "Hi!" 2) again say how excited I am for the opportunity to be your pastor. "I'm so excited, I just can't hide it..." 3) let you know that in addition to trying too hard to be silly (I'm a dad, after all) I will also be putting together a schedule in the next few weeks that will allow you to sign up for a time to chat with me. Ordinarily I'd want to visit you in your home but we'll do what's safest and what we're comfortable with. The idea is that one household at a time I get to know you, and you get to know me; share our hopes and dreams together; and pray together. Be on the lookout for that. 4) I know that there are Wednesday and Thursday evening Zoom meetings happening. I do plan on joining (or leading, as the case may be) those starting next week. I was hoping to jump in this week but I had a ton of evening meetings helping my previous churches prepare for the transition and, after the exhaustion of the move, I've decided Danielle might not appreciate having to do bedtimes all by herself again so soon. I'm willing to bet you understand. I believe Amanda Dam is hosting the Thursday night gatherings, but if necessary for that or the Wednesday prayer meeting, my Zoom information is below.
Hannah has already created a church e-mail address for me: John@cc-umc.org. You can also reach me at my personal e-mail account: email@example.com. Or give me a call at (802) 316-4476. I've heard a lot of people say over the years, "I'm sorry for calling, or stopping by your office, because you must be busy..." but, seriously, I much more enjoy talking with folk about whatever is on their heart and mind than doing whatever busy work I have. So, please, don't hesitate if you have a question, prayer need, want to vent about a no-good-horrible-day, or just want to chat. I do take Fridays off as my Sabbath--if you forget and call me, don't feel guilty, I'll remind you.
Again, I am excited for the opportunity to worship and serve God with all of you. Looking forward to it!
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3 NIV
Dear Charlton City UMC family- Thank you!
As my last Sunday with you draws near, I wanted to reach out to you all with this letter.
Thank you for welcoming me into your family. Thank you for allowing me to be your pastor these past three years. Thank you for the love and understanding you gave me. For being patient with me.
I have so many precious memories of my time with you. Your love for God and each other is an inspiration. Your dedication, some of you years’ long, is such a witness. Thank you for giving so much of yourselves to this church. You are blessed. You are a blessing. Remember that always. No family is perfect. You don’t all see eye to eye in everything, you have different perspectives, opinions, etc. Yet, you have such a way of selflessly coming together to support a cause, a ministry, a member in need and that is both admirable and commendable. You are a community that extends grace which speaks to the fact that you know yourselves to be recipients of such amazing grace.
I will be eternally grateful for the grace you showed Archived - Sunday Worship Services - 2021
me when I needed to take some personal time in order to care for my ailing father and support my mother in a very difficult time. You will always have a special place in my heart because of that. Thank you!
I ask your forgiveness if I have done or said anything that has caused you pain. I promise you it was unintentional. Know that I have forgiven also. I have nothing but appreciation and love for all of you.
I pray that you may continue to care for one another. I pray for the new chapter that begins in challenging times for our country, our denomination and our church. Remember always that in Christ we are more than conquerors [Romans 8:37] and that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us [Philippians 4:13].
Eternally grateful for our time together,
Rev. Wanda Santos-Perez