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Painting Pictures January

     My least favorite month of the year is January. I do not like the cold or the snow or the darkness. The ironic thing is that my birthday is in January. What was my mom thinking? The best thing about the month is that it only lasts 31 days. In God’s creation – things change. Winter eventually turns to spring and new life bursts forth.

     But it isn’t just nature that is renewed – so are we. All of us go through difficult periods of time. All of us face uncertainty. All of us have periods of loneliness and sadness. Nevertheless, if God is our focus we will overcome the negatives of life and be refreshed and transformed. The positive changes may not happen as quickly as we would like, but during the process, God will give us peace and hope.

     One of the nice things for me about January of 2014 is that I get to meet new people at Zion UCC and that lifts my spirits. I am fascinated with people. I admit I am terrible with names so I ask for your forgiveness in advance when I forget your name. On the other hand, if you tell me a story about who you are I will not forget. I’m good with stories and I am looking forward to hearing the stories about your life.

     So let me use the rest of this article to tell you a little about myself. You already know Elaine and between us we have five children. Three children live in Carrollton, one in Boston and one in Seattle. I am a smart-aleck and have a hard time with authority, other than God. I grew up in Olmsted Falls, southwest of Cleveland, and didn’t attend church much until I was a junior in high school. By the time I was a senior I realized God was calling me into ministry. This year will mark the 45 year since I first started serving in a church.

     My sense of humor is a little strange - perhaps quirky is a better word. Besides being a pastor, some of my jobs over the years include working in: a box factory, a department story, a dime store, and an electrical supply store. I have worked for the Department of Human Services, as a sports writer and photographer, and as the curator of a museum.

     It is a blessing to have the opportunity to serve you and I am looking forward to discovering where God is leading us. If we trust and obey then the journey will be filled with joy.


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