Posted by Sheila Thomasson

“A New Year Always Brings Changes”

Grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s always interesting to come to the end of one year and enter a new year. There are inherent risks associated with a new year. Perhaps I am a dinosaur, but I still write checks to pay my bills. So the first few checks I write will have the wrong year on them. Perhaps some of you do that too. But perhaps the most exciting aspect of a new year is the potential it brings. You can’t say “out with the old and in with the new” without hoping the new year will come with new potential and bring new opportunities. And even as you’re anticipating those new opportunities, you’re remembering the grand memories of the past year.

As we enter 2016 I’d like to share some good memories from 2015 even as I encourage you to join me in prayer for 2016. St. John’s has concluded a very good year. God has blessed us with some new ministries, and our committees and members have been fulfilling their call to serve the community as they make Christ known. Without mentioning any committee by name, each and every one has lifted up opportunities to serve the church, each other, those we do not know, and to grow in our faith. Our Vestry was blessed with wonderful leaders from the congregation, and our new Vestry will be just as blessed. God’s presence is seen at St. John’s each and every day.

One of the changes the New Year brings is our search for a new Office Manager, Secretary, and Administrative Assistant to the Pastor. After 10 years of loyal service to St. John’s, Carole Jordan has resigned effective December 31, 2015. Carole has done a fantastic job for us, and she will be missed beyond description. Having Carole in this position has been like having an additional right hand. Her knowledge of our membership and desire to do the very best job possible has been appreciated by each and every one of us. We will miss Carole being on staff but look forward to seeing her in church often. She plans to resume her studies to complete an undergraduate degree.

The new year brings a personal change for me. As you know I have served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain almost since the time I was ordained. This fall I turned in my paperwork to retire from the Navy Reserve effective January 1, 2016. I have enjoyed over 27 years of service to our nation, as I have been given opportunity literally to minister to Sailors, Marines, and Coasties around the world. My military ministry has walked side by side with my parish ministry with each contributing to the other. I want to thank you for your support of that ministry, and I hope you know that everywhere I went I carried you and your prayers with me as together we led and pastored our nation’s bravest and finest.

We are still actively involved in our search for a Director of Christian Education, Youth and Family Ministries. I believe this is an important position that, once filled, will help us grow our ministries to our young people and families. We are advertising this position in both SC and NC.

Just as this past year has been blessed by God, we pray that God will bless the new year. In your prayers, pray for God to be present with us every day and guide us into ministries that are life-changing so that we may reach the world in such a way that we can make Christ known.

If you have suggestions for new ministries in the new year, please come speak with me. As the new year begins, please include your church in your prayers and activities.

Happy New Year!

Pastor Butler +