Call, Ministry

To know the place for the first time


What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.

T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

It's my next-to-last day in the office at Y1P, and I'm glad to be able to announce my coming plans. 

In the United Church of Christ, with our Congregational polity, it's never definite until the congregation hears the candidate preach and takes a vote. But I can say that the search committee of the First Parish Congregational Church of North Yarmouth, Maine, has extended a call to me to be their settled pastor, and I have accepted pending a candidating sermon on August 15th.

You may read more about the church here. I'm sure you will note the Pet Place, a food and supply pantry for people having financial trouble caring for their pets. This gets many paws up at our house. 

It may seem strange, after all this flying around, that I am staying in the area, but I believe that the Holy Spirit played a role throughout the process, on both sides. I'm grateful to have had the chance to talk to and meet faithful UCC people from other Conferences, and to look far and wide, but I'm also quite certain the right fit is here.

Further on in "Little Gidding," Eliot writes:

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

It won't be my first time in North Yarmouth on August 15th. I preached there once as a student in 1997 (Hope no one remembers, I suspect it was a terrible sermon! I remember it was hand-written and about King David.), and the former pastor is the friend known occasionally on my blog as Country Parson. I've been to a number of events in the gorgeous new Fellowship Hall. 

Around the town, LP learned to contra dance at the Westcustogo Grange. And locals should know, I'm extremely familiar with the menu at Stone's

I'm excited to learn what the future will hold and thank you for your prayers and good thoughts during this whole process. 

25 thoughts on “To know the place for the first time”

  1. Oh, Friend! Wings and Roots are equal gifts, but I’m “rooting” for the chance to have you nearby for a while yet!

  2. I am excited and prayerful for you! You’ll be close to my back yard again! All the best and you can be assured my prayers will be lifted up in your behalf for August 15th!

  3. Oh, I’m just so excited.
    The church I serve now is the same church in which I originally came before my presbytery to be ordained; I read my statement of faith here and was (rigorously) examined. In addition, it bears the name of my seminary– all of which added to the sense of returning to a place and knowing it to be home for the first time.

  4. Will you need to move? Best wishes and prayers for an inspired sermon on August 15th! (I think Greta would LOVE North Yarmouth…) 😉

  5. Great news! OHP and I may try to come to your candidating even though we can’t vote.

  6. congratulations! I know you’ll be a blessing and be blessed in your settle call.

  7. Congratulations to YOU and to THEM… may you both be so very blessed with this new relationship! (Well, we know THEY will be blessed to have YOU.) ;c)

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