If you are a United Methodist Pastor, you start to find is that the one thing constant is change. No, not that most of our United Methodist Church people love and embrace change (most of us humans don't, for the record - this isn't by any means a slam on the UMC), but it's inevitable as an itinerant UM pastor (and for the congregations we serve) that change is gonna come.
Back in February I got the news that I would be moving. Four months is a long time to transition, especially when the chance to make the transition is severely lacking (long story, and this is not the place to go into it), but the end of June finally came and it was time to move.
Herlihy Moving Co came in on Wednesday and took very good care of us. They were extremely hard-working and very professional - it was the best move we've experienced yet. We had more stuff than they thought we would, yet they got it all packed into the truck.
Thursday was move-in day in Wellston. Did I mention that it was 100* out on move-in day? The house heated up fast. There were several people from the church who came out to help move us in - they seemed to expect to be moving boxes but were instead put to work helping us move out of the boxes. Our dear friends Steve and Rita from Millersport came down (they brought our instruments so they didn't end up in the moving truck under all the furniture) and spent the entire day with us; Steve painted the closets for us while Rita spearheaded the "get the kitchen in order" project.
Food was provided, and the kids found friends to play with. In fact, the boys were at the neighbors' house all day playing with their kids! That night I ended up sleeping in the boys' room, because there's a window air conditioner in there (lucky!!).
Friday came and so did more heat. And then, while we were out for dinner (we hadn't yet bought any groceries), a huge storm came through (70+ mph straight-line winds) and knocked out power to, oh, pretty much all of Ohio. Including us. So our second night in Wellston was without electricity. As was our third. And it was still around 100* every day and very humid.
Sunday morning was my first service at Wellston Hope, and we still had no electricity. That's OK; in New Knoxville, I got three years of practice preaching in a church with no air conditioning! Service went pretty well - the lower attendance actually was helpful to me in trying to learn names. It'll still be a while until I know them all and even longer until I know who is related to whom.
Sunday evening's excitement came in the form of a fire. A landmark business caught fire as the power came back on, and it was a doozy. Pretty much the whole town came out, as well as 12 fire departments. Unfortunately the building was a total loss. According to the paper, however, it was insured. It always stinks when a local business suffers like that.
That was enough excitement for me. To top it off, we lost electricity again on Tuesday for about 24 hours, and parts of town still aren't back on the grid.
Welcome to Wellston!