The only good thing about this weekend is the Mardi Gras ball. That means that some Methodists will be snoozing on Sunday morning. They spent the evening out rejoicing in the Lord and grooving to the music. They may have over consumed and will not have the spiritual energy to get out of bed and come hear me preach. Sunday will be one of “those days” in the Methodist Church.
If you don’t know much about us. We have a unique way of moving ministers. We call it the itineracy. We have been doing it this way for a couple of hundred years now. It is a strange thing to watch.
Move day is June 30th. On that day the departing minister will leave the parsonage in the morning. In the afternoon the newly appointed pastor will pull in the driveway and move in. When I moved here the time between departing minister and arriving minister was about fifteen minutes.
The Methodists are learning that I am leaving at the end of June. I have been appointed to lead one of the Conference’s largest churches. The church is in Ruston. The great news for my bride is that I will be living with her fulltime. I will commute from Gibsland to Ruston. It is a twenty-minute drive. It is a fifteen-minute drive if law enforcement in Bienville and Lincoln Parishes are not paying attention.
I have developed bad habits these last four years of living alone. I must learn to fold clothes again. I’m sure I will not be allowed to keep all my clothes in the dryer. My diet will be more than McDonald’s and Huddle House. Although I have grown fond of Huddle House salads. I will be forced to share the TV remote.
I will miss Natchitoches. I will miss spelling it when I order something over the telephone. I will miss Christmas Festival. It was officially fall when the lights started going up along the riverbank. It is officially spring when all the lights are back in storage. I will not miss the traffic and our guests who drive 5 miles an hour when we are in a hurry. “Look Ethel, Christmas lights!”
I will miss the Methodists. They are such a fun group to hang out with, except for about six of them. Those six are real pains in the . . . But the pains are in every church. I have often wondered if they are related. They all read from the same script, complain about the same things and won’t lift a finger to help. They have the spiritual gift of complaining. If you don’t know who they are in your church, you might be them!
You will look up in June and I’ll still be here. My official start date at the new church is July 1. They give us and the church all sorts of time to get used to the idea of each other. I will be saying my farewells for these next four months. I have grown fond of you. Thank you for reading these little tomes. Thank you, Methodists, for loving your pastor. Thank you, God, for giving me these 10 great years.
For my friends reading this in the Bienville Democrat, “Look out here I come.”
Enough of this, I’ll return to my weekly frivolity next week. See you then!