Mike and his wife, Dot were born and raised as Kentuckians and are graduates of Western Kentucky University. They have three adult children and four grandsons. Their daughter and her family live in Lexington and they have recently moved here to be near them.
The Presbyterian Church USA is a full communion partner with the ELCA, and this placement was discussed and supported by both our I-K Synod Bishop Bill Gafkjen and the General Presbyter Rev. Philip Lotspeich of the Transylvania Presbytery.
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR MIKE:
Life often hands us the opportunity to “go” when we are not ready, but then we do go. This is nothing new to biblical actors. In Genesis 12:1, the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred...to the land that I will show you.” Abram is to go to an unknown land at the moment of the command to “go.” Abram’s call to go is our call as well—a nudge to enter a new spiritual land over these next months.
We may not be ready to take the leap into new & unfamiliar territory, but it is before us in such a way that we need to make the choice. Some of us are faced with the choice to have a major surgery that will improve our health or do we take the job that requires a cross-country move or do we retire from forty years of what we’ve always known. All of us have been faced with how we cope through COVID, its changes & complications for how we live. We must all face the social unrest and the conflict of values from person to person. Churches, too, are pushed into unknown territory.
We experience ourselves or others saying: “I will be glad when we can get ‘back to normal.’” If we are waiting for “normal” to return, we will be waiting in vain. We will be living in a new normal and then change will come again. Adapting to the “new normal” has been a part of human life even before learning how to use fire for the good of the tribes. Today, we are challenged with how we will adapt to the fast moving parts in our lives and in the lives of the institutions that protect us and give us heart.
I leave us with questions upon which to ponder. Will we, in our personal lives and in the life of our church have the foresight, wisdom and courage to face the changes and “go” into them with a sense of resiliency and will-ingness to adapt to what is before us? Will we discern the difference be-tween the kind of change that seems to have much pain and no real value to human existence and the kinds of change that forces us to get better at being who we are? I marvel at what happens in painful times as we move into what we never imagined before. Three years ago, we never thought of our worship services going around the world, but COVID stretched us. Over the years, air & water pollution has killed millions, yet people have met these challenges with wisdom & imagination as to how to save lives.
For us personally, for the good of our community, and the world at large are we prepared to “go into a new world that God will show us”? It is our time to choose.
In His Peace, Pastor Mike