This is the time of year when many of our pastors and their families are in the process of moving to new appointments.  Most of those begin their ministry this July with their first Sunday being this Sunday.  A few will begin in August.

As our United Methodist clergy and families pack up and move this time of year, I pray for them and for their colleagues.  I pray that their successors will treat with kindness the ministry that they inherit.  I pray that each predecessor will leave behind a ministry and a church that is a strong foundation for their colleague to build upon.  I pray that the laity of each church will lovingly release their pastors who are moving, and that they will lovingly receive their new pastors.   And I pray that all of us will strengthen our sense of being colleagues in ministry together.  That is the only way that our United Methodist appointments can work well.

And so, I offer this prayer (as I do every year) for those who are in the midst of moving to new appointments:

O Lord, help us to be in ministry together,

and help us to build upon each other's foundation.

Let us proceed and succeed each other in ministry

with a deeper sense of appreciation.

May our ministries build and expand together,

may we be colleagues with one another;

May our people be blessed by our mutual efforts,

and may we treat each one as a sister or brother. 

Lord, watch over those who are moving these days,

keep them safe and help them to adjust;

Since moving and packing is our Methodist way,

help them to move and to grow in Your trust. 

Amen.