Thanks… And, Yes!

Dear friends in Christ, what a grand Laurel Heights welcome you have extended to Liz and me as we have made our way to San Antonio and I have prepared to begin my ministry among you.

So many of you have offered care and guidance in this process. Rev. Jim McClain has provided the utmost courtesy and assistance in orienting me to my new work. Thomas Sanders, SPRC chair, Ann McGlone, Lay Leader, and Trudy Kinnison, chair of the Administrative Council have also been tremendously helpful, offering wise and steady leadership through this time of transition. And I have had insightful and constructive conversations with the church staff and others of you with whom I’ve crossed paths. Thank you each and all for your kindness and resourcefulness in introducing me to Laurel Heights. I am grateful.

As I’ve learned about your church—your history and traditions, your current rhythms of worship, study, witness, and service, and your aspirations for the future—I am left with a sense that Laurel Heights is place in which memory and hope are finely interwoven. You have an appreciation for where your church has come from, and an openness to what the coming season will bring of God’s goodness and provision.

In 1909 a woman with a bold vision led the way to the founding of a new Methodist congregation on the growing north side of San Antonio. That woman, Mrs. J.O. Terrell, along with her husband, Judge J.O. Terrell, helped to secure the resources needed to support this initiative, and in late November of that year Laurel Heights Methodist Church was born. Given Mrs. Terrell’s leadership in establishing the church, it is no wonder that on the very day the church was founded—November 28th—the Woman’s Missionary Society (the present-day Laurel Heights United Methodist Women) was also formed.

One hundred and nine years later, women are still seeing visions, and men, dreaming dreams—all about what God is doing at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church. Young and old together are being called once more to live into the church’s mission to “offer Christ to those we encounter and to nurture, equip, and enable persons to become committed Christians in our community and the world beyond.” I consider it a tremendous privilege to serve among you in this promising new season of mission and ministry at Laurel Heights, and I look forward to all that is ahead in our life together in Christ.

As we cross this threshold, I invite to share with me in a prayer from the writings of the late U.N. General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld: “For all that has been, thanks; to all that will be, yes!”

Grace and peace,