All posts in Clergy Transitions

A Week of Lasts

Woke up early this morning realizing that this is my last full week as pastor of Park City Community UMC. A week from today, the moving truck will pull up to the parsonage and begin loading boxes and furniture for the move to Colorado. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here thinking that this week of "lasts" will be a tough one:

  • Last staff meeting: I enjoy our weekly staff meeting as a time to connect with everyone, but I especially enjoy the team of people with whom I work. PCCC is blessed to have great people serving on the team. Mary has been my right hand person and a big part of my administrative "brain" over the past six years. She represents PCCC well every day. Karen has been a blessing to children and parents and it has been fun to watch her ministry grow. Bryan has been a joy to work with and his talent and skill help make our choir and Sunday music be some of the best around. Nina has done an outstanding job managing our church finances with skill and integrity. Manny has been a godsend and works hard to keep our facilities standing tall and looking good. I am going to miss all of them a great deal and am pleased that they will be here to work with your new pastors. 
  • Last worship services: It's only Monday, but I'm thinking about next Sunday and what that will be like. I've moved from other churches before, but as an associate pastor. This is a very different thing altogether. It's going to be very emotional, which is hard for someone who isn't terribly emotional. It helps me to keep in mind that worship is always about God, and we will celebrate what God has done among all of us next Sunday.
  • Last trip to the gym: For the past several years I have spent part of nearly every day at the Basin Rec Fieldhouse working out. I will miss seeing the regular morning crowd, running the track, and being tortured by my trainer, Brian Frost!
  • Last visits: This week I visit some of our members who are in the hospital or at home. I won't go into detail, but these are some of the hardest goodbyes. 
  • Last day of school: The kids are leaving their friends as they come to their last day of school. We have appreciated the great teachers and staff at Parley's Park Elementary, and at Ecker Hill and Treasure Mountain Middle Schools. 

I've come to realize that "lasts" are important because they generally lead to new "firsts." How we do our "lasts" largely determines how we will enter into those "firsts." As I anticipate next Sunday's worship and our evening farewell potluck, I will be thinking about how these "lasts" will become memories as we enter into a new chapter in life and ministry. 

Cleaning Out and Locking In

Getting ready for a move is quite a process–one that I haven't had to think about for seven years. Now that our date is set for closing on a new house, the moving truck has been arranged, the boxes acquired, and the paperwork has been signed, it's now just a matter of wading through all the stuff that's been accumulating for such a long time. 

Actually, I find that part of the process interesting–kind of like a treasure hunt. I was going through the drawers in my office the other day and found a whole collection of things I thought had disappeared and some stuff that has become obsolete over the last seven years–like a six-pack of unopened blank cassette tapes. Apparently these drawers have become a kind of mausoleum for dead and forgotten technologies as well. 

I found a dozen golf balls in one drawer–golf balls given to me by a 96 year-old parishioner, now passed, who used to collect them from her yard next to the Park City Municipal course. She would give them to me about once a month, telling me, "I know you'll need them" and winking (because some of them were probably mine to begin with). 

There were CDs full of pictures from past church events–pictures of smiling youth who are now parents themselves. There's a file of notes from a conference that I absolutely had to attend back in the day, but which I had completely forgotten about a year later (which is why I don't go to a lot of seminars anymore and just read the book). There's a journal that I started…and quit. A refill for a pen I no longer have. Software CDs for a computer that's long been obsolete. 

It's amazing how we collect stuff and hold on to it, thinking that we'll need it someday and then forgetting about it completely in very short order. 

I'm just sitting here wondering–what will be in my drawers seven years from now? What kinds of memories, pictures, technologies, ideas, will be housed in a new desk in a new place? Given my tendency to favor the expedience of a drawer over the pain of throwing something away, I'm sure there will be much to 

Announcing a New Pastoral Appointment

Dear Members and Friends of Park City Community Church,

 On Sunday, March 14, an announcement was made at both
worship services that I have 
received a new pastoral appointment in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference.
On July 1, 2010, I will assume a new ministry role as Pastor of Tri-Lakes
United Methodist Church
in Monument, CO. Tri-Lakes, which was founded in the
mid-90s, is a growing church in one of the fastest-growing population areas of
Colorado.

 I write to you today with a deep sense of sadness that our
time together as pastor and congregation is ending after seven fruitful years,
but also with excitement about the potential not only for my new appointment,
but also for Park City Community Church. I did not ask for a new appointment,
but my ordination as a United Methodist Elder involves a commitment to serve
where the Bishop and the Annual Conference deem that my gifts for ministry can
best serve the larger Church. I believe in the system, and know that the Bishop
and Cabinet do their prayerful best to match the right pastor to the right
church at the right time. I trust that not only for myself and my family, but
also for Park City Community Church.

 The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is the local church’s
liaison with the Annual Conference and is already working with our District
Superintendent, Rev. Steve Goodier, to create a profile that the Bishop and
Cabinet will use to match the best pastoral leader with the needs of Park City
Community Church. In the United Methodist appointment process, the church does
not review the resumes of potential candidates in advance, but meets the new
pastor by way of introduction rather than interview. If both church,
represented by the Staff-Parish Relations Committee, and pastor agree that it
is a good match, the appointment will be made. Your Staff-Parish Relations
Committee, led by Johnna Roussos, is an outstanding, thoughtful, and
professional group and will represent the church well in this process. Pray for
them, and please contact a member of the team if you have questions or
concerns. I have included a list of their names with this letter.

 My last Sunday in the pulpit will be June 6, 2010, after
which I will use my remaining vacation days to make the move to Colorado and
prepare for my first day on the job, which will be July 1. This will also allow
time for the Trustees to prepare the parsonage for a new family and for the
congregation to catch its collective breath before welcoming the new pastor.
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee will be working to provide pastoral
coverage during the interim weeks between my departure and the new pastor’s
first Sunday, which will be July 4, 2010.

 As of June 7, our relationship as pastor and congregation
will change dramatically. While I will always be your friend, I will no longer
be your pastor. I will no longer be available to you for weddings, funerals, or
other events. You will soon have a new pastor who will have the privilege of
being involved in the life of the people of this great congregation in so many
ways. I ask that you do your absolute best to welcome your new pastoral leader
and help him or her in the process of beginning a new season of ministry
together.

 Times like this remind us that change is difficult, but it
is also a constant part of life. The good news is that change also brings with
it an opportunity for growth and new possibilities. I fully believe that God is
at work in the midst of the changes here at PCCC, and that this church’s best
days are still ahead. I am already praying every day for the success of my
successor and for you in the midst of this transition. I would covet your
prayers for Jennifer and me, for Hannah and Rob, and for the people of
Tri-Lakes UMC as well. By managing this transition well, with God’s help,
everyone involved will be further strengthened for the common work we engage in
for God’s Kingdom.

In Christ,

Pastor Bob Kaylor