Thank you for inviting me into your church for this past year. Quite a strange year it has been, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know as many of you as possible through the many ways the church has been open, including classes, office hours, and drive-in worship. I have appreciated working together with you to find out what it means to be present with you during a time when physical separation is necessary for all of our safety. My opportunities to interact with all of you (especially the youth and children) were the high points of most of my weeks. So I thank you for your presence with me.
Looking forward, I doubt that you’ve seen the last of me. My summer plans take me back to Illinois (where I’m from) to intern at the regional Midwest Missions Distribution Center (connected to UMCOR) working as a coordinator for groups of volunteers. But I’ll be back next fall to finish my MDiv, and I plan on continuing to maintain a relationship with this church that I am still only starting to get to know, but that I already love so much. The atmosphere and relationships of this church are truly something special. With or without me, I believe in this church’s ability to change and grow to love and serve the Lord and our neighbors through our changing contexts. When I get back next fall, I hope that I will get to experience this church continually growing into its perfection in Christlike love.
Genuinely thankful and hopeful,
Austin Miller, Ministry Intern