Important Skyland UMC News


As Staff Parish Committee Chair, I would like to share an important Skyland UMC announcement.

Keith, our brother in Christ, amazing friend and spiritual leader, has been called upon to transition to a different Church that is currently in need of his incredible talents.  This transition will officially take place the first weekend in July, at which time we will be welcoming our new pastor, the Rev. Wesley Sharpe, to Skyland.

The consideration of change in pastors is a process that the Methodist church undertakes every year, and this year it is important to note that across our district alone, there were nearly 180 pastors eligible for retirement and over 60 this year decided to in fact retire – meaning there are many other churches across the district going through similar unexpected changes today.

I believe we can all agree that Skyland is sitting on an incredibly strong foundation and can give praise to the Lord for this foundation.  As Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”  Is there really any greater way that we can articulate exactly what it is that Keith and his family have done for Skyland – Keith and his family have truly caste a stone, with ripples that will live on for years beyond their time here with us.

Processing this change will be difficult for us all. As this news settles in with you over the coming days and weeks, please reach out to anyone of us on Staff Parish Committee, if we can be of help.  Your SPC include TJ Knapp, Erin Brady, Diane Rutledge, Sandy Fredrick, Phil Blythe, Carol Mosely, Patty Olbrantz, and Jeff Lovette.  I am sure you can realize that this is having an incredible impact and taking its own toll on Keith and his family.  We ask that you please keep Keith, Chan, Ross, Clair, Joey and Ben in your prayers as they embrace this change and plan for the transition.  Our staff is also working through this change.  Please also keep Joy, Lance, Linda, Jennifer, Pat, Terri and the entire staff close in your prayers these coming weeks.  They are our foundation, and we have all the confidence in the world in each and every one of them, though they too must process this change as we all do too.

I leave you with one last verse that I have relied on at times of change and uncertainty in my life, Jeremiah 29:11,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Jonathan Bailey
Staff Parish Committee Chair

Making Sense of the Bible

January 29 – February 26, 2017

United Methodists believe that the Bible reveals the Word of God, and that through the Holy Spirit, the Bible is our guide for faith and practice. This book is essential to Christian life. It’s a must read. But, it’s not always an easy read. We find ourselves inspired and transformed, but sometimes confused and deeply disturbed.

We wonder what makes the Bible holy and sacred. We wonder at the Bible’s relationship with scientific discoveries. We cringe at the violence, and wonder if God could really command genocide. Are women really required to be silent and submissive? What about human sexuality?

This sermon series takes an honest look at the Bible, and helps us make sense of it all.

January 29 What Is This Book? (1 John 1:1-4)

February 5 The Violence Problem (Matthew 5:38-48)

February 12 Science and Religion: Friend or Foe? (Psalm 8) Rev. Joy Moss

February 19 Equality (Galatians 3:23-29)

February 26 The Bible, United Methodist Church, and Same-Gender Relationships (Romans 1:23-32)

2017 Prayer Series

PRAYER: Finding God, Yourself, and the World

January 1 There’s Something Going On (Matthew 2:1-12)

January 15 The World Is My Parish (Micah 6:6-8) Rev. Joy Moss

January 22 The Prayer of Examen (Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24)