Greetings friends,

I understand you had a wonderful sendoff for Reverend Jason and your first Sunday back to in-person worship went very well. I am sure Reverend Jason and his family appreciate your kindness and your care as they move on to the next place their journey takes them.

It is the Monday after Easter, and I am here in the office ready to begin a new time with Hazelwood as you await the arrival of your new Interim Minister, Reverend Pamela Pettyjohn. I know Pamela and her love for the church and for all God’s people, and I am certain you will enjoy sharing ministry with her. But for the next few months, I will fill in until she can get here!

As I am working half-time, I am in Muncie on Sundays and Mondays and would be glad to welcome you to talk, to catch up, or when you have any need for a pastor. I have a staff meeting at 10 a.m., but the afternoons from 1-4 p.m. are open for whatever is needed. Of course, if I need to be here for other things, I am always prepared to do that.

My cell phone number is (317) 414-1047. Even when I am not in Muncie, please know I am always available by phone or Zoom for meetings.

For the next four weeks our worship services will be using the theme, “Coming Home … for the First Time”. The sermons will be based on some of Jesus’ parables, and the first one will be The Prodigal Son. When I came in Monday morning it felt in many ways like coming home, but it was different as well.

I wonder what it is and/or will be like for you to return to in-person worship at Hazelwood. I know this is a confusing time to know when is the right time to return, but I trust you will make your decisions wisely, and we will be delighted to welcome you as you decide the time is right.

After a year of being distanced from so many and so much, we have a new chance to build a new future. We may even appreciate each other and what God is doing in our midst.

Grateful for you,