During the last week or so of June, my wife and I found ourselves in a mad dash to cross the finish line. We had boxes still waiting to be packed and a moving checklist that was quickly dwindling but not yet complete. The morning of our move came, and we hopped out of bed rushing to be ready for the movers to arrive. Only… the appointed time came and went. No movers, no finish line to cross despite all of our running! Instead, we got a call, no movers would be coming that day. The finish line had moved, so instead of running forward, it felt as if Caitlin and I were running in circles!
Finally, by the end of the day, we had things in motion, the finish was in sight. We had made calls, offered up prayers, and changed plans. Family and friends had stepped up and stepped in to help so that we could make the journey to Casper and then here to Thermopolis. We loaded up and headed out, taking our time on the journey, especially with baby Sophie on board!
After all the stress and the long days, we arrived in town. We came to the parsonage, planning to drop off our bags and figure out next steps. Waiting for us on the parsonage step though, we found flowers waiting for us. We were met by an unexpected welcoming splash of color. The surprises did not end there! We came inside to find more gifts! They put smiles on some very tired faces. We received a kind of welcome that eased all the frustrations and anxieties of the days before. This community did not wait until we came into the church on Sunday to welcome us. You rose up to meet us and welcome us where and when we needed it most!
I’m thrilled to be here with my family and to be your new pastor! I cannot tell you how much your warm welcome has meant to us. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to learning more about this community of faith and the kinds of ministry we can do together here in this beautiful corner of Wyoming! My hope and prayer is that together we can continue to be the kind of community that does not just extend words of welcome but gives welcome to the many weary and tired travelers on this journey through the world.