The summer of 2018 has certainly been a time of change for Beth and me.  Not only have we changed our residence from living on a 600-acre summer camp to living in a two-bedroom apartment above Water St., but we both left ministries we knew and loved to enter into ministry here at First United Methodist Church.  The church’s mission to “Change Lives through Jesus Christ” has certainly held true for us.  I am grateful that changed lives are the stated goal for this congregation and I hope to lead by example.  

Too often we put a great deal of time and effort into establishing comfortable and predictable patterns for our lives that leave little or no room for change.  I expect to get into a routine as soon as possible so that my ministry will be predictable and reliable.  When will I take my Sabbath?  Where will I park my truck?  How will I spend time on the river?  What will my devotional life look like?  All these questions are important because they are foundational to my being ready to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit. God is in the habit of calling people when we believe we are least able to respond.  The great stories of faith often revolve around the Spirit catching us by surprise and taking us where we did not plan to go.  Beth and I are enthusiastic about discovering where and what the Spirit will lead us into while we serve in Charlottesville.  I pray that God’s Spirit will give us what we need to be able to hear the call, take the steps, and make the changes required to give Jesus the reins of our lives. 

I invite and encourage you to join us as we embrace the changes God has in store.              

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Gary Heaton
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