1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
A Message from Pastor Dianne
Last week I attended the “retirement” gathering of a gentleman who had served The Craigville Conference Center in Centerville for the past 14 years as President of Craigville Village’s main governing body, the Craigville Christian Meeting Association. While Craigville was traditionally associated with the United Church of Christ, the passing years have seen the properties and attendees change from predominantly Congregational pastors and church members to people who practice their faith in many denominations of the Christian church and some for whom Craigville is their only church – at least for 10 weeks out of the year!
Jim deserved in every way the Thanks and praise of his community! He was always on call and was there with grace.
As in many church events, I passed the conversational time at a table with another retired United Methodist pastor so that our small talk was about churches we had served. He had been the Senior Pastor of First UMC Meriden, CT a church of 1200 people for 22 years until 2016! But his wife had come to our church in Harwich when she visited her grandmother as a child and both of them fondly remembered our sanctuary and people. How different our pastoral experiences, how diverse the people we call United Methodist!
Monday morning I met with our District Superintendent to review the ministry at Harwich UMC. We have some great plans that we are working on. Reaching out to the communities we interact with through the scheduled second Saturday programs that Pam Purdy has organized beginning with an Arts recognition of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and planning to stabilize our technology platform so that we can share what happens on site with people beyond our walls will take some expertise that we will all grow in. You can read about these plans in other places in this Newsletter!
I am looking forward to a second year at Harwich UMC. The only thing that is certain about the coming year is that God has placed us here to proclaim the Gospel and do it boldly. I asked David Calhoun, DS what was happening to the 4 year plan called the quadrennial at the Church headquarters because Covid disrupted our meeting in 2020? What is happening with the church questions about changes to the discipline and our denomination? The further we get from the local church into the hierarchy the more we wait eagerly to understand the avenues of change we will be facing… Wait and listen is the answer. Our Bishop has delayed his retirement to continue to steer the portion of the denomination known as the New England Conference. And so I am waiting and listening for God’s voice and the winds of change – as many of you are in your personal and public lives.
How different our experiences from those of our ancestors, how diverse the people we call United Methodist! Borrowing a scripture passage from the history of First UMC Meriden, CT we can proclaim:
Harwich has changed and there have been changes in the life of the United Methodist Church as well. Yet, we have the same Lord, Jesus Christ, “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13.8).