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November 27, 2021

Ron Bogart, longtime friend and colleague, has graciously given me permission to quote and share the following.

I think he speaks for many, and certainly not just your pastor, about the dynamics and the moving parts of all of our lives —-

On Thanksgiving 2021 I tried to examine my ministry of 43 years and found the majority of them were fulfilling times, and some were challenging, especially as I got older and churches wanted a younger pastor who could attract young families.

I served some of the larger churches of the Conference who expected the work day to include a full day’s work, plus an evening meeting almost every evening. That made some extra pressure on Doris and me, with little time for ourselves.

Although I found the ordained ministry to be rewarding on many levels of interacting with people’s lives, but trying to be honest with myself, I wish that I had remained a Permanent Deacon rather becoming an Elder.

In seminary I minored in Christian Education. While serving eight years on the Conference Staff I discovered that I had enough credit hours to become certified as a Minister of Christian Education. As such I did training workshops for local churches and taught lab schools on the adult and young adults levels in several different Jurisdictions.

I was also chosen by The Upper Room to be a facilitator for “Weekend of Living Prayer” Retreats. I also taught classes in the UMW Schools of Christian Mission during those eight years and beyond.

During this same period I was certified by the Illinois State Board of Education with a Professional Educator License, with an Endorsement in Secondary Education. I kept renewing that license until June 2018. Although I never taught in public schools, after I retired I volunteered as a teacher’s assistant on the elementary level, working especially with children who were having problems with reading.

To be honest with myself, I enjoyed being a “preacher,” but I think that my true calling from God was as a teacher!

As I stated earlier I should have remained a Permanent Deacon, which is an important and honorable calling by God and the Church.

—- Since you’ve read this far, I would love to know your response. Feel free to contact me in any of our usual ways, and thanks in advance.

And profound gratitude to Ron for his transparency!

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